Gray Ghost - Deep in the Shallow End [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Gray Ghost

Deep in the Shallow End [12 inch] (2009)

Chainsaw Safety

Gray Ghost seems to have scaled back the experimental tendencies of their self-titled debut 10" EP, and consequently, this followup, Deep in the Shallow End, isn't quite as exciting. That being said, it's still a pretty compelling listen of burly, slowly suffocating, doomy hardcore. Think the speed of later Baroness with the aggression of their early period and the discolored brick wall of sound newer acts like Tides and Rosetta employ.

Deep in the Shallow End has a title that's self-explanatory -- this is murkier and more throbbing than its predecessor, a mean, prowling beast that gives little space to breathe, let alone move. Grainy, growled vocals are buried in a mess of bulky, skulking guitars and bass, merely acting as another layer in a thick attack. The dynamics are there, but not as pronounced as one would hope; "Saints" moans and hums even when pulling back for stops and starts, and you just ache for a greater, cleaner pause so that things hit home harder.

Still, those are just unfortunate faults (or a lack of listener's wishes) in an otherwise solid -- and I do mean solid -- release. Deep in the Shallow End is a massive, grayscale monster whose features happen to just be a little less defined this time around. Maybe it's a transitionary period, and the potential displayed on the previous EP will be more fully realized the next time around.

Slay or Sleep