Almost no better location exists for great metal and hardcore than New England. Massachusetts, in particular, boasts an extraordinary amount of talent, with bands like Converge, Killswitch Engage, Revocation and Elder having roots in the Bay State. There’s a reason that there’s a New England Hardcore and Metal Festival every year.
But among the myriad (and I mean myriad—much of Massachusetts and New England metal is incredibly widespread) bands we’re privy to seeing conversation about, there are always a few gems that get looked over. In this case, the band is Boston’s Great American Ghost, who released their first major label debut, Everyone Leaves, on Good Fight Music.
Genre-wise, GAG’s music belongs in the expansive, sometimes-hard-to-define style of hardcore. But unlike some of the (arguable) mainstays of the genre—Converge, Dillinger, Trap Them, Norma Jean, etc.—who, while also incredible acts in their own rights, utilize chaotic riffs, unusual time signatures, and odd instrumentation, Great American Ghost simply pummels audiences with their music. Every riff is played with a fantastic mid-scooped guitar tone reminiscent of Kurt Ballou’s signature sound, and vocalist Ethan Harrison’s screams and yells pave a direction for the rest of the band to follow in. It doesn’t matter whether they are playing slower licks or shredding faces with the traditional hardcore speed; listening to Great American Ghost is like being repeatedly hit over the head with a sledge hammer—albeit, in the greatest way possible.