Grave Maker - Ghosts Among Men

Album cover
Hardcore
Victory Records
Grave Maker
Ghosts Among Men
Grave Maker - Ghosts Among Men Review rating:
3.5
User rating:
Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Canada has been known to export some quality products. For example: maple syrup, Molson Canadian beer, Labatt Blue beer, the NHL, Comeback Kid, James Cameron, Pam Anderson, and Nickelback (just kidding!). Hailing from Vancouver, British Colombia, Grave Maker made a name for themselves with their DIY work ethic and non-stop touring in support of their debut Bury Me At Sea. The band continues to make a name for themselves in the hardcore scene, with their no-holds-barred, kick-you-in-the-face-and-laugh-at-you brand of hardcore. On their sophomore full length, and Victory Records debut, the band takes the aggression displayed on Bury Me At Sea and turns it up a level, unleashing the fury that is Ghosts Among Men.

Clocking in at just less than 28 minutes, Ghosts Among Men is a furious, passionate show of modern hardcore at its best. With improvements made musically and vocally, the band have crafted an album of pure, unadulterated aggression. “Hell Followed” gets the adrenaline flowing, proving that the band can thrash with the best, with song structure similar to Sick Of It All’s “Machete.” “Laid to Rest” and “Dead or Alive” showcase the adeptness of guitarist Cole Young in the form of dirty, Southern-style guitar riffs in the vein of Every Time I Die. “Sever Thy Head” is the standout track on the album. Channeling the spirit of fellow countrymen Comeback Kid, the song is a searing track that plays at a blistering speed with its abrasive guitar lines, frantic drum work and the improved, coarse vocals of Jon McRae.

The album does have its faults, however. Album opener, and title track, “Ghosts Among Men” is quite lackluster, at least lyrically, with gang vocals repeating the track’s title quite monotonously. Although previously stated that McRae’s vocals have improved, they still sound like East Coast “tough guy” hardcore vocalists and can become grating upon repeat listens.

With improved instrumentation, gritty vocals comparable to Lou Koller (Sick Of It All) and, to a lesser extent, George Pettit (Alexisonfire), and a passion to make good hardcore, Grave Maker have arguably crafted the finest hardcore album of the year thus far, however keep in mind that it is still June. This is not hardcore for the thinking man (read: Crime In Stereo). This is angry, unrelenting hardcore, the kind that will have kids two-stepping and dancing until the last note resonates. And that is exactly the way hardcore should be.

1. Ghosts Among Men
2. Hell Followed
3. Melt To The Mold
4. Seducer
5. Why We Fight
6. Stronghold
7. Vlad The Impaler
8. Laid To Rest
9. Dead Of Alive
10. Broken Bones
11. Never Be Like You

Hardcore from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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