On first listen, this comes across as a band intent on pulverising you with the noisiest and most intensely malevolent piece of work they could come up with, with subtlety taking a backseat as they repeatedly beat you into submission.
However, as with so many records, repeated listens open up hidden avenues, depths and/or emotions that make the record a totally different beast to that it originally seemed. That is to Ghostlimb’s credit in that they've managed to produce something that takes a while to seep into your consciousness whilst still offering elements previously unheard.
Musically, they take their cues from the punk approach favoured by bands like Tragedy and Wolfbrigade: heavy, guitar-driven music, but in this case there is more of a metallic punk sound than in either of those bands. Additionally, they add the depths that bands like Envy are capable of reaching, although not in such a serene way but still showing that they are not a band purely hellbent on speed and noise.
Vocally, this is the throaty/gruff delivery that prevails in this kind of music—metallic punk hardcore, if I try to give a descriptive summary. Obviously, this makes the appreciation of the lyrics a secondary thing, but when lyric sheets are included that usually makes a huge difference. That’s not really the case for me here as I find the lyrics and the meanings included in the press kit beyond me in most cases. I don’t consider myself to be unintelligent, but these guys are on a plane far above mine—that or they have someone writing the lyrics for them!
Even though there are lots of moments of speedy hardcore, Ghostlimb do know when it would be good to throw you a slight curveball in slowing a song down or adding something a bit more melodic than one might expect. The basis for their music contains a primal intensity, but this is achieved through a number of ways, both through a change in speed but also displayed when adding in a relaxing fadeout, as in the track “Eight” (dealing with California’s Proposition 8—something I am aware of). “Eight” is quite easily my favourite track, but “Concrete” also shows the band at the top of their game.
The final track is one that is so incongruous here, or at least when following the preceding 11 songs it appears so: a cover of Leatherface’s “Plastic Surgery” done in a more conventional way, with sung vocals, a lovely sounding guitar and conveying emotions in a way different to anything else on the album. Not being a big fan of Leatherface I can’t compare it with the original, but you have to admire a band who offers up something so different sounding to the majority of their music when it is usually more "extreme."
I do like this album and will be seeking out other music by Ghostlimb to listen to. If you like hardcore with huge chunks of punk and metal (in a good way) that is delivered in a variety of ways, then this is worthy of your time and ears.