I Am Ghost - Lovers' Requiem (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

I Am Ghost

Lovers' Requiem (2006)


Attention I Am Ghost: wanting to do something grand should never be confused with being able to do something grand. Touted by Epitaph as "a cinematic tale of monumental proportions," and described by vocalist Steven Juliano as "essentially a rock opera but for hardcore or goth kids," the Long Beach six-piece's debut full-length is nothing more than a self-obsessed dose of "more of the same."

Continuing with the status quo, Lovers' Requiem throws together equal parts new era-screamo and metal while touching on punk and hardcore. These boys can play their instruments, and their arrangements are sometimes impressive. Then again, you could walk out on any high school parking lot at lunch and throw together a top-of-the-line band just like them.

Lovers' Requiem is largely par for the course with what can be expected from a Johnny-come-screamo band signed out of nowhere. They've got screaming and singing, hardcore breakdowns and melodic intros, heavy metal licks and chugga-chugga guitars. You've heard most of the elements of this album before.

I Am Ghost sets themselves apart slightly with heavy use of both violins and keyboards. I suppose this is what they were getting at when they started throwing around "cinematic" and "opera" (by the way, has anyone ever actually seen an opera movie? "Phantom" doesn't count). To their credit, these elements do add a fair bit of expansion to an otherwise generic sound, and coupled with proper production, the songs do sometimes attain the mature proportions the band seems to be aiming for.

Nevertheless, there's a market for I Am Ghost, and they're certainly going to appeal to that market. I can't say I want anything to do with this market or am able to identify with it in any way, but it's still there. If this is what the kids want, then it's what the kids are going to get. Epitaph clearly knows this and is why the label has stayed profitable despite loss of credibility.

But here's what I'm trying to get at -- you can't just call yourself important and have it be so. Name one album in the last ten years that claimed immortality through the gate. Limp Bizkit? No deal. Important albums become so over time, not from day one. Let's get over ourselves and focus on making a good album rather than a huge impact fellas; reputation should never precede action.