Chrome Ghost – Reflection Pool (Review)

Chrome GhostChrome Ghost are a doom metal band from the US and this is their latest EP.

This is sludgy doom metal that has heart. It’s heavy music that doesn’t skimp on the emotive qualities that make sludge so compelling.

Rosewater Drowning starts off with a heavy, almost tribal feel to it that recalls some of Neurosis‘ work. This then drastically seems to change tack when some unexpectedly gorgeous clean singing enters the song and everything quietens down except for the odd punctuated chunk of distortion. After this the heaviness begins again and we’re off on a wild ride.

Alternating this heaviness with lighter sections and clean singing may sound a tad nu-metal, but trust me not only is this nothing like that, but Chrome Ghost are so incredibly compelling and engaging with what they do it’s a shock I’m only encountering their sublime music now. I mean, I feel like there should have been a memo about this band. Was there a memo…?

About halfway through the song there’s another unexpected vocal development as deep, bowel-shaking growls and higher screams enter the fray. Hell yes! Now this is the stuff. It’s like a sweetly-singing Electric Wizard and Usnea are jamming in my own private party.

Rosewater Drowning continues to unfold with heavy insistence and lush harmonies, building to its apogee with drive and style. Make no mistake, this is the type of song that you’ll keep coming back to again and again. Ten minutes well spent.

So what’s next? The second and final track is half the length of the first, (roughly), is named Mist in the Clearing, and begins with a reflective, almost 70s rock feel. It still has sludge undertones though, and you can sense the heavy guitars hidden beneath the calm exterior, getting ready to rise up and swamp everything with pitch-black distortion.

The clean vocals are just as beautiful as they are on the first track, possibly even more so due to the absence of heavier guitars. There’s an Opeth-esque quality to this song, similar to some of their early acoustic work if it had more of a spacey vibe.

The aforementioned heavy guitars finally have enough of waiting around the halfway mark, and they come thundering in with a mix of dark crushing sensibility and some vaguely stoner-esque flourishes. The Neurosis influence continues to manifest itself here, but not in any derivative way, simply as an influence that the band have taken on as their own. There’s a guitar solo that reminds me a bit of Earth too, and this plays the song out as it slowly spends itself.

Well, what a first-rate find! I love discovering great new music, and Reflection Pool certainly qualifies.

You must listen to this.

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