Nations Afire, an ensemble composed of music veterans from the groups Rise Against, Death Stereo, and Ignite, have recently released their debut album, The Ghosts We Will Become. No stranger to their music scene in California, the rock band seeks to spread their sound to a national–and global–level.
And perhaps that goal isn’t without reason either; with strong riffs and vocalist Nik Hill’s powerful, rough vocals (somewhat reminiscent of less nasal-y version of Alter Bridge‘s Myles Kennedy’s singing voice) that blend together well, nearly every song in the album possesses the headbanging energy people want. The songs without the hard rock gusto are no slouch either, instead choosing a more emotional approach, from comparatively heavy Nine Lives to entirely acoustic Even The Blackest Heart Still Beats.
Certain parts of the album, however, are weak. “I am an army coming through/I am a zombie over you/I can’t believe it, I want it so bad” in I Am an Army feels almost half-assed, and the opening line “And the wolves cry out again” in Wolves’ chorus seems to always drop the energy of an otherwise consistent song. Another issue with The Ghosts We Will Become is that it sounds too similar to the punk rock and hard rock scene. The beginnings of I Am an Army and One Perfect Day, for example, sound just like an intro from a song by Rise Against. The lyrics also read similar to Rise Against or Anti-Flag. Although the sound itself is more than satisfying, there aren’t any curve balls or segments that stand out as unique, which makes the album sit in the shadow of already established bands of the same genre.
Nevertheless, as a band’s debut album, The Ghosts We Will Become is a very strong start, and it is a positive indicator of Nations Afire’s talent and where it can go from here. As long as the band continues to develop their own sound and find its niche in the wildly popular rock genre which they jump into, it will no doubt end up in the spotlights.
Standout Tracks: “Occams Razor,” “Even The Blackest Heart Still Beats,” “Pick Up The Pieces”
01. I Am an Army
02. The Ghosts We Will Become
03. Nine Lives
04. One Perfect Day
05. In Absentia
06. Occams Razor
07. Even the Blackest Heart Still Beats
08. Pick Up the Pieces
09. Break Your Fall
10. The Legacy We Leave
11. The Concussionist