One of the biggest underdogs in the Metalcore/Hardcore scene, hailing from Illinois, Ghost Key, released their new 10 track album on November 16th. “See This Through” is the bands second full-length release on InVogue Records. Ghost Key has taken to the scene and enveloped their music in stories of hurt, anxiety and depression, themes that are exceedingly common and felt amongst fans of this genre. Ghost Key’s vocalist, Austin O’Brien thinks of himself as a vessel, speaking for the hundreds and thousands of young (or old) fans of the genre about their struggles and feelings of abandonment by those around them.
The first three tracks on the album, “Silence”, “Detach”, and “Let You Burn” are your standard hardcore tracks, and they set the album up really well. “Detach” was released alongside a music video in late September. The track speaks about how your past doesn’t define you, and how you should always use it as an example of how to better your future.
It’s where the fourth track comes in, that really caught my attention. “Heart Support” is different from the rest of the album. It can be likened to Being As An Ocean in ways, but with the Ghost Key sound, it’s a song of its own. The clean vocals are a refreshing change, unlike anything we’ve heard from the band before. HeartSupport is a non-profit organization founded like August Burns Red vocalist, Jake Luhrs, that focuses on anxiety, depression, substance abuse and anything related to self-harm. It’s fitting “Heart Support” relates to that, because the track speaks about being there for someone through the roughest parts of their lives, be it depression or something close to the subject, and helping them overcome those struggles.
If you’re a fan of this genre, you’ll recognize a familiar voice featured at the 1:00 mark of “Absence”. That’s the point where Mike Sugar of “Church Tongue” comes in with the lines “so just know when you look at me, I’ve always had the best of intentions, I broke your heart when I fell out of rhythm, I hope you can forgive me”. Headlining the guest spot, it’s a nice addition to the track that speaks about not feeling good enough.
“Touch” is the most hardcore track on the whole album, and for good reason. This song centers around the 321,500 survivors of sexual violence that occurs each year in the United States. Around the world, the powerful and the wealthy try to keep the victims of these heinous acts quiet through threats and money, and oftentimes, these cases are dismissed, or they’re never even brought to court in fear of something even worse happening, or being humiliated. Touch is a middle finger to those who try to keep you silenced. It’s fast, it’s angry, and it’ll hit you like a ton of bricks with the in-your-face approach of the guitars, bass and drums, underneath the vexed vocals of O’Brien.
Closing the album out is “I Have to See This Through”, and I don’t think I could think of a better way for it to end. Throughout the years that Ghost Key have been approached countless times by fans who share their stories of discomfort, depression, and self-hatred. This song involves lines of some of their stories, and while they aren’t long, you might find yourself connecting with them on a personal level. They’re enough to hit you hard and leave you emotional by the end, but they feel necessary. In the middle of the track, the lyrics “listen close, I’m alive because of you”, bring the entire album together. It speaks of how the stage has become a platform for the band to help their fans, or fans of the genre through the dark times in their lives, but what the fans might not realize, is that the fans help O’Brien through his struggles in return, just by trusting in him and the band to share their stories each night. This album is for the fans, or as they like to call it, their friends and the community.
You can check out Ghost Key on Facebook
You can also listen to “See This Through” Below: