Six Reasons to Kill: We Are Ghosts

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Six Reasons to Kill: We Are Ghosts
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Six Reasobns to Kill: We Are Ghosts
Death Metal, Metalcore
Massacre Records
March 22nd, 2013
Release length: 41:16
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In 1999, Germany helped to round out the century by birthing a new group that mixed Death Metal with a Metalcore and Hardcore approach. This band took on the name Six Reasons to Kill. One year later, they were signed with Alveran Records to issue their debut album, Kiss the Demons, which was later met with two split releases, one of which was through Bastardized Records, a label that became their home for quite some time before officially signing with Massacre Records for 2011’s Architects of Perfection, as well as their latest effort, We Are Ghosts. But, does their fifth album have the potential to throw Six Reasons to Kill into a brighter spotlight than their previous outtings did, or have they caved to the generic money making template common to much of today’s Metalcore?

The production quality to We Are Ghosts does place plenty of restrictions on the material. Overall, it sounds pretty crisp and modern, but doesn’t end up too deep, taking away the impact from the Hardcore and Metalcore elements of the groups sound, largely in the breakdowns. The guitars have a decent lower tuning, as well as come through a little on the cleaner side. The bass doesn’t end up doing much other than maintaining the rhythm, but the subtle deeper tones do work to keep the music grounded and away from a higher treble output. The drums sound great for the most part, utilizing some crisp cymbals that fill the music without being too overbearing, and the bass kicks have a strong click to them that tears through every other instrument with authority. The rest of the kit ends up sounding tight, providing a richer sound once the snares are struck. Finally, there’s the vocals. These aren’t anything special, mixing shouting with growls, and even some rhasps here and there for added effect.

For a band that existed as the Metalcore genre was gaining popularity and infamy, We Are Ghosts often treads between a bland experience, all the way to a rather memorable one. This is more than likely from the audio quality and lack of bite that it has. “The Damned” has a good deal of catchy hooks that comprise a strong chorus, and the main verses pack a little more aggression. The lack of a richer, deeper bass presence doesn’t make the impact those areas have all that strong, while the breakdowns and guitar solo end up sounding very weak. This is one of the few where it really does become a problem. “Betrayer” is a far more technical offering in the guitars, while the drumming is more a constant pounding, falling just shy of being blast beats. Then there’s “Fucking Hipster,” which ends up a lot richer due to this faster approach, as well as more intense overall. The additional female spoken word samples of “You’re just a fucking hipster” suit the tone well, feeding the angry performance with a fun atmosphere.

Oddly enough, when it comes to the breakdowns, those composed largely of single chord chugging come through heavier, which is the case for the title track, “We Are Ghosts.” “Heartbreaker” pushes this a bit too far, leaving large gaps of silence between the riffs and drum patterns that allow this approach to be abused to the point where these sections simply are not heavy anymore. Thankfully this kind of dies here, as there are plenty of others that get it right, like “God of the Dead.” It’s a slower track that is composed largely of breakdowns, especially towards the end. Sticking to the simpler chugging, these come through pretty heavy, picking up a deeper sound due to the slower speed, as well as the highly atmospheric leads that play over it. Then there’s the song “Unburied Again,” which ends up the right mixture of melody and heaviness. The rhythm guitars provide a nice deeper backbone, and the various breakdowns help to keep that atmosphere alive. However, there are some emotional leads in the chorus that make it hard to forget. Everything flows smoothly from start to finish, never jumping from one extreme of speed to its polar opposite.

We Are Ghosts isn’t anything all that new or exciting, but what Six Reasons to Kill presents is still a good album for what the audio quality allows it to be. Had the bass been a little more dominant, this effort would definitely be more on the memorable side. Some tracks do still present a heavy sound, though largely when the breakdowns are simplified to chugging on lower notes, tuning, or a great deal of technicality when the pace really picks up. Sadly, those areas and songs are rather limited, leaving the listener with its fair share of music that doesn’t quite hit home the way previous albums did in the past. But, if you’re a fan of Six Reasons to Kill, this one isn’t that far off from what you might expect, especially if you’ve been keeping up with the discography over the past thirteen years.

01. The Damned – 4:09
02. We Are Ghosts – 4:14
03. Inked Inside – 4:48
04. God of the Dead – 4:22
05. Betrayer – 4:58
06. Unburied Again – 4:21
07. Heartbreaker – 4:56
08. Factor X – 1:34
09. Catalyst – 5:00
10. Fucking Hipster – 2:54
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Six Reasons to Kill (band)
Six Reasons to Kill

Digital review copy of this release provided by Massacre Recordings.