October 26, 2017 10 Years – (how to live) AS GHOSTS (Album Review)
Rock sensation 10 Years are back with their new album (how to live) AS GHOSTS, set for release on October 27, 2017 via Mascot Records. A band that swims through genres, ranging from Progressive Metal to Alternative Rock, over the past two decades, their passion has never waned. In fact, 10 Years have steered clear of record labels meddling with their sound, proudly sticking with their artistic vision all the way through. Their eighth overall studio album, (how to live) AS GHOSTS demonstrates a new dynamic voice of 10 Years.
With Producer Nick Raskulinecz, despite any shifting and turmoil, 10 Years have found the missing puzzle piece and are back with their own newly formulated recipe – no formula. Frontman Jesse Hasek has stated that this album and era “actually feels like a real rebirth for the band.” Why you may ask? Well, the new record marks the return of Guitarists Brian Vodinh and Matt Wantland. “It just didn’t feel like 10 Years without Brian and Matt, and having them back is really a reunion of the core writing team,” states Hasek.
This in mind, 10 Years wastes no time jumping into the record with confrontational anthem “The Messenger.” It serves as a traditional blend of drawn-out vocals and new high energy to take charge head-on. All the while, the riffs remain heavy as a bubbly groove creates great movement throughout the song. Such movement follows through on “Novocaine,” the leading single off the record. Though the tone is ominous and apocalyptic with distorted bass, it is easy to get lost in the music, sucked in by the main vocals of Hasek, and brought back to reality with the chanting. Slightly resembling Bring Me The Horizon’s “Happy Song,” 10 Years tackles the pharmaceutical war of over-medicating and desensitizing in a powerful way.
Moving on, the politically driven theme continues with “Catacombs,” a dark, doomful track about the men in suits running society and slowly turning everyone into zombies. “Keep us comatose, so no one knows,” sings Hasek, as the reality of the issue settles in. Though the track is a little hard to dive into at first, it catches on after a few listens with higher pitched guitars and drums marching to the beat. From here, the album takes a road of heartbreak in “Burnout,” a haunting cut about a life lost in the music industry. “Their standing ovation drowns you out,” sings Hasek, while remaining questionable if the song is about a beloved friend or inspiration. Sweet guitar licks rush like waves against the hurt in Hasek’s voice, and the hint of tambourine lurking in the shadows is a nice touch.
Proving to be one of the heaviest pieces off the album, “Ghosts” features thick bass and galloping drums in the verses. Furthermore, there is an incredible build up halfway through, and the eerie bridge strings along the band’s encouragement for self growth. It is funny how a chilling song about being a ghost can free your soul, as Hasek repeatedly confides, “You’re running through the motions of the emotionless.” Contrasting in an uplifting manor message and composition wise, “Blood Red Sky” finds a great balance between active and leisure paces. The track emits inspiration on the come-up after one has reached rock-bottom, assuring the listener that it is okay to slowly tread water. Soothing guitars dance with synths during the gradual climb to an explosive end.
Keeping the album strong all the way through, standout closing track “Insomnia” lives up to its name as 10 Years does a phenomenal job transmitting the feeling of lying awake at night with the double layer of voices circling around. Featuring captivating layers of guitar and violin strings, the sweet surrender to the grave takes a ride along a steady drum beat as well as with synth before a gentle acoustic conclusion.
Overall, 10 Years continue to build lyrical masterpieces, and knows how to speak to their audience with conviction. (how to live) AS GHOSTS is undeniably the band’s best record yet. Masters of their stories, it is hard to believe 10 Years was ready to throw in the towel just a couple of years back. Thankfully, they remain inspired to create music as their latest effort displays growth through the blend of elements found in both older and newer tracks alike. With the honest and firm direction, any listener can find a song he/she can relate with. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives (how to live) AS GHOSTS 5 out of 5 stars.