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Quartered - "Walks Like A Ghost" (CD)

Quartered - "Walks Like A Ghost" CD cover image

"Walks Like A Ghost" track listing:

1. Komera
2. Eternity Below
3. After Midnight
4. Walks Like A Ghost
5. Laces
6. Life And Light In The Form Of You
7. Letter To You
8. Nothing Without Love
9. Familiar
10. Seven (Instrumental)
11. Falling Man
12. Half-Cab

Reviewed by on October 16, 2010

"'Walks Like A Ghost' is an album packed with the perfect mix of heaviness and melody, creating songs that contain elements of progressive metal, post-rock, metalcore, and in some short instances; alternative doom."

While not unheard of, it is rare to come across a newly released album that makes a band’s back catalogue obsolete. It doesn't happen often, but when it does its always exciting and such is the case with Quartered’s second full-length release “Walks Like A Ghost.” When held in comparison to the Vancouver act’s earlier work there simply is no comparison. “Walks Like A Ghost” is an album packed with the perfect mix of heaviness and melody, creating songs that contain elements of progressive metal, post-rock, metalcore, and in some short instances; alternative doom. “Walks Like A Ghost” is like a re-debut of sorts for this young band and will surely garner it the attention it now deserves.

With the exception of one weak track, “After Midnight,” the album has exceptional flow and is crafted in a way to deliver maximum impact. Album opener “Komera” is fantastic and features excellent vocal work that switches between somber, heart-felt singing to pain injected screams. The music itself crosses many music territories while at the same time not being sporadic or random; imagine later Katatonia mixed with “Watch Out!” era Alexisonfire. “Walks Like A Ghost” is a leap forward in every aspect of the band’s sound and incorporates every band member to achieve its greatness. “Life And Light In The Form Of You,” while having the feeling of an unresolved ending, features some of the band’s best songwriting on the entire record.

Every band member is on point and dialed into one another, feeding off each other’s energy. The songs on the album are written in a way that allows it to sound great both on record while also giving it the potential to translate well to a live setting. The title track features the most upbeat and fast intro to any song on the album and will surely become a crowd favorite, not to mention the sing-along gang vocal section layered in the background is fantastic and gives the song an extra edge.

While being a great record, there are tracks that do take a bit of time to grow on the listener. Unfortunately those tracks are all packed into the middle of the album, one after the other. “Letter to You,” “Nothing Without Love,” and “Familiar” again are all well written, but do not have that sudden impact on the listener like the opening and ending tracks do. Although the songs are by no means filler and are worth coming back to with every spin. These three tracks are all dark affairs, as is much of the album, and contain dense music that hits hard. After a couple of successive listens it will become apparent that these are actually some of the better cuts on the disc and will become increasingly enjoyable after ever play.

The album ends with a strong two song punch. “Falling Man” features, musically, a strong doom metal vibe that is both incredibly dark and heavy. If Quartered possessed any low, guttural growls this song would have fit well on any release from bands like Swallow the Sun or Daylight Dies. The final track, “Half-Cab,” is the band’s most accessible song on the record and also the most “metal,” with a constant aggression that carries throughout. The guitar work and drumming are also great on this track and make good use of complex rhythms to build a progressive atmosphere.

The only things holding this album back from being any better is the volume level of the bass, which needs to be louder in many areas, and also the lack of any lower end growls; which could be added to change things up every now and then. Regardless, as Quartered move forward things will surely become even bigger and better for this young Vancouver five-piece. “Walks Like A Ghost” is a strong record with few flaws and puts the band on the map with any of the top acts in its genre, using strong songwriting ability with phenomenal production quality. While maybe not heavy enough for the hardcore metal head, “Walks Like A Ghost” is for anyone that appreciates the perfect blend of heavy and melody with some incredible clean singing.

Highs: Amazing vocals, especially on tracks like "Komera" and "Life And Light In The Form Of You." Great song writing throughout..

Lows: Could have done without "After Midnight," the track seems uninspired.

Bottom line: For fans of dark, melodic metal and everything in between.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)