The Amity Affliction – ‘Not Without My Ghosts’

By Jess Tagliani

‘Not Without My Ghosts’, the latest, self-produced offering from The Amity Affliction, is the band’s latest brutal yet brilliant album, and follows on from their 2020 release ‘Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them’.

The album roars its opening in the form of ‘Show Me Your God’, a disgustingly heavy, beautiful opening track; it’s full-throttle, in-your-face metalcore at its finest. Then there’s ‘It’s Hell Down Here’ – a perfect example of The Amity Affliction’s shining partnership between vocalists Joel Birch, with his demonic screams, and Ahren Stringer’s sharp-cutting vocals.

This album features not one, not two, not even three, but four guest vocals, including Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld on ‘Death And the Setting Sun’, which is four minutes of guttural vocals mixed with bone-crushing riffs. Ahren’s haunting echoes of “They say the pain will go, or so I have been told” will resonate strongly with most.

‘I See Dead People’, featuring guest vocals from New Zealand-based rapper Louie Knuxx, who unfortunately passed away unexpectedly in 2021, is a visceral, bruising track, which segues into ‘When It Rains It Pours’. The Plot In You’s Landon Tewers lends his strong vocals, layered upon deadly drums and clever guitar work.

Title track ‘Not Without My Ghosts’, featuring Phem, is a genuinely surprising track. Whilst The Amity Affliction tend to write a slower, more ballad-like track on the majority of their albums, there is something about this particular track that is incredibly moving and pulls at the heartstrings. The contrast between Ahren and Phem’s vocal range, along with Birch’s distant screams of “I have to carry on, but not without my ghosts”, makes this a standout track. Bone-chilling, raw, and absolutely beautiful in every sense, from the lyrics, to the keys, to the riffs – This will become a firm favourite for listeners.

All in all, does ‘Not Without My Ghosts’ reinvent the wheel of metalcore? No. However, it is an album full of face-melting riffs and lyrics that are fraught with emotion? The answer to that is a big, resounding yes. Each track boasts masterful lyrics and dynamic guitar work, and it’s not hard to imagine how vibrant these tracks would sound in a live setting.

This eighth album from The Amity Affliction is a resounding piece of work; packed full of raw emotion and crushing riffs, along with frenetic drum work, it will be thoroughly celebrated by their fans.


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