Gray Ghost - Gray Ghost [10 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Gray Ghost

Gray Ghost [10 inch] (2008)

Copper Lung

Gray Ghost elicit the type of sound their name would seem to imply if you aren't a huge Batman nerd. This Atlanta quintet play haunting, progressive and methodically paced hardcore that can creatively churn one moment and then burst into a somehow sluggishly fast-paced cross-section the next.

Vocalist Sky's scratchy and straining but occasionally comprehendible scowl is similar to David Marion's delivery on Fear Before the March of Flames' The Always Open Mouth; musically, moments on that particular album are even comparable, but keep in mind Gray Ghost employ no electronics and bound themselves considerably tighter within a given genre. Nevertheless, Sky's spitting frustration sounds apt over the band's brooding atmospheres, which are consistently dark and dragging, akin to a significantly more rugged Isis -- or His Hero Is Gone, only less scruffy and drained of the D-beat. But all the while, subtle changes really push the 10" forward; a little uptick in tempo during "Soul Seekers / Faith Stealers" gives it sort of a two-step part for those that need dancing action, but it quickly dissipates to allow the guitars to pick up in volume, howling and bellowing to finish the song.

That's largely why Gray Ghost works so well. Through a near-constant level of dissonance and desolation, especially the bitter violence permeating the lyrics to "Wolves & Hounds" and "Holy Hell," is an experimental edge lending itself to the tempos, pacing, guitar riffs and texture -- rather, the band's conscience practice of inserting changeups to keep the songs interesting. And they're just talented enough to make it work at an average of five minutes apiece.

Consequently, this is a very cool and accomplished 10" EP, striking a compelling balance among sludgy hardcore, mammoth instrumetal scores and post-rock screamo tendencies.

Gray Ghost 10"