The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Vigil enters world of concept art

“I can’t stop screaming these words over again. Until breath escapes and my chest caves in,” Jonathan Vigil screams at the beginning of The Ghost Inside’s fourth studio album, “Dear Youth.”

A slight change of direction for the Los Angeles-based hardcore band, “Dear Youth” enters the foray of concept albums that many other artists have done at least once in their career.

What is that concept? If you could write a letter to your younger self and give yourself advice for your life to come, what would you say?

The opening song “Avalanche” brings a heavy start to the album and almost serves as a bookend for the story to come. Tracks on the beginning half of the album, such as “Move Me” and “Out of Control,” showcase a youth — possibly a younger Vigil — going through a rough time, including imagery of standing up for yourself and challenging authority.

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Coming off their 2012 album “Get What You Give,” which was written in the memory of Vigil’s brother Ryan, it is easy to think that “With the Wolves” will be a big single for the band. The existential cry toward the end of the song of “God, what have I done? I’ve lost myself for no one,” adds to the story of the youth pretending to be someone or something he is not, just to please a group of his peers.

The first half of the album comes to a close with the somber “Phoenix Flame,” which going with the story, appears to be a suicidal thought that the youth had at one point. Lyrics like “More often than not, you’re gonna feel alone. It’s a long fall from the top. Can you stand it?” along with the slightly religious undertones brought in by “With the Wolves” prove to be a fresh start to the youth, almost a will to carry on.

Moving on into the second half of the album, “Dear Youth (Day 52)” serves as a snap back to present day, which is moved on through the rest of the album.

Being the title track, this serves as the actual question that Vigil is asking: “Dear youth, what was your one big plan? You made us believe we had the world in our hands!”

Storyline wise, this song serves as the youth, now a fully grown man, is almost beaten down mentally by what he was never able to accomplish. He did his best, but it wasn’t enough.

Coming out heavy in second half of the album is “Wide Eyed,” where the man seems to change his disposition on things.

He is going to earn his keep, and he is going to be the man he thought he would grow up to be. High-pitched guest vocals from Jason Butler of Letlive fame bring a very interesting contrast to the guttural screams of Vigil.

Throughout the rest of the album, we hear the man verbalize the problems he has within the scene of hardcore music with the idea that everyone only looks out for themselves.

Lyrics on “The Other Half” stand out especially as Vigil screams “My favorite things in life, aren’t even things at all. Nothing that drives my soul is even tangible.”

The album closes out with “Blank Pages,” almost a reprise of “Avalanche,” giving a more melodic feel for the closing of the album. Within the story, the man has finally come to terms with who he is and what he has done with his life.

Overall, “Dear Youth” is one of the strongest albums that The Ghost Inside has produced, but it only shows a little growth from them.

It still features intense vocals from Jonathon Vigil, the double-kicks from drummer Andrew Tkaczyk and the dreaded mosh calls. Above all of this however, “Dear Youth” is an album that I’ll have on repeat for the foreseeable future.

Attempting a concept album is no easy feat, with quite a few artists losing sight of the actual story in favor of making hits.



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