CD Review: Ghost Key – “If I Don’t Make It” (InVogue Records)

If you’re looking for another fancy scenecore album full of all the paint-by-numbers tropes you’ve come to know and love, you’re not going to find one with Ghost Key’s debut If I Don’t Make It. Hell, if you’re looking for any clean signing, you should look elsewhere because this record is all piss and no filler; from frontman Austin O'Brien defiantly barking ‘drown yourself’ in stern repetition on opener “Death In the Family” to the earth-rattling breakdown that defines “Indecision,” If I Don’t Make It is 10 tracks of piledriving, no-frills-necessary hardcore (“Ache” is near perfect thanks to fiendish vocals and destructive riffs, “Embrace” is stunning in its corrosiveness, O’Brien is a fire-breathing monster on the This Is Love, This Is Murderous-era Bleeding Through-esque “Dying To Live,” “Attention To Detail” will send you scurrying for the nearest pit). If you enjoy your metal straight up with no chaser, then Ghost Key’s If I Don’t Make It needs to be in your immediate future, because this is one hell of a first impression.      

Grade: A-

Go Download: “Ache”