6. Bearing Witness
10. Infinite Locality
11. Southeast First
12. Conquerors of the Useless
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Ghostlimb has been cruising the underground hardcore highway for over six years now, and Confluence marks the band’s fourth full length album. What makes this release particularly interesting, though, is that it’s the second album in a trilogy of albums which started with last year’s Infrastructure. With only about 15 months between both releases, one would expect little variation between both releases, but Ghostlimb at least shows glimpses of progression along with new lyrical themes that all relate to the trilogy as a whole.
Vocalist and band mastermind, Justin Smith, is very open about the meaning behind his lyrics. Some of the themes being addressed deal with the examination of human existence, the relationship between humans and animals, economic corruption, and political correctness. Every song deals with thought provoking issues which add a depth to the songs that is rare in hardcore at the present time. Moreover, these themes turn a leisurely listening experience into an intellectual one as we ponder over the words being vehemently screamed in every song. Just as importantly, though, the music is solid as well, but that should be no surprise to fans of Ghostlimb’s previous efforts. Songs like “Margins” and “Ardor” show a heavier side to the band not seen as much before, but the fast and melodic writing style still exists, like on “Canidae” and “Infinite Locality.”
However, the main issue keeping Confluence out of the four-star range is the length of the songs. With this style of music, short songs tend to run together and that is definitely the case for this album. Call it a personal preference, but brief tracks leave me wanting more, but not necessarily in a positive way. Longer songs like “Southeast First” and “Conquerors of the Useless” are where Ghostlimb really shines and it’s a shame there aren’t more like them on the album. Overall though, Confluence is a quality release that will surely appeal to fans of the hardcore/thrash genre and leaves us all eagerly awaiting the final installment in the trilogy.