The Holy Shroud - Ghost Repeaters (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Holy Shroud

Ghost Repeaters (2005)

Level Plane

Initially, I had Halifax, Canada's the Holy Shroud pegged as another competent player on the latest team of expert At The Drive-In ripoffs, defunct and otherwise (see: Brazil, Despistado). Upon further listening, however, I came to realize that though the band's mid-paced indie rock does carry obvious similarities in places, there's a little more going on beyond the surface.

While the Holy Shroud may seem like a misfit on the Level Plane roster because of their screamless nature and consequential dodging of the genre hinted at moments ago, they definitely strive for the same levels of academia in their sound. While they may not reach said levels because of crudely executed vocals, less-than-stellar production, and awkwardly carried tempos, they still pull off a pretty decent act, taking from ATDI's Vaya and a less structured Engine Down to create a mildly interesting sound.

"Sinners And Sailors" is a standout with band members trading off relaxed vocal announcements, like "sink this city, we'll sink this city!" Thanks to its more fast-paced ventures and arguable similarity to ATDI's "Heliotrope," "Calling In Confederate Debts / Untitled" is another noticeable track. But besides these two and a few others in the early goings, the Holy Shroud doesn't do a whole lot to capture your interest. There's too many dragging tempos and lack of good ideas, and it results in tracks mushing together and thus make for some mediocre background noise if not altogether dull moments.

The Holy Shroud feasts on moments of moderation, pulling for the raw versions of mini-epics that never quite reach the point they're climbing towards. I'm sure there's a lot of great things the band is capable of doing, but Ghost Repeaters doesn't quite express that.