Watercolour Ghosts combine elements of prog rock, shoegaze, and post-rock to create a highly emotive form of post-metal. Formed only 3 years ago, they’re made up of veterans of the music scene, which certainly explains the highly accomplished musicianship present on the band’s eponymous debut EP.
Intensity is the name of the game here; even when they aren’t playing anything particularly heavy, the pace at which the musicians are playing gives the music a sense of urgency. “Despondent” sounds like it belongs on a Russian Circles record, or could even pass for a slightly less heavy Rosetta track, but Watercolour Ghosts manage to not sound derivative of either of those bands. The vocals are all beautifully sung throughout; at times they’re more mid-ranged, similar to those of Chevelle’s Pete Loeffler, but can also go into a deeper register, as can be heard at the beginning of “Like Animals.” The drums keep things mathy, and lay down some pretty cool rhythms on tracks like “Collapse” and “Breathe.”
The sound on Watercolour Ghosts stays pretty melodic throughout, though, as I said before, even in the quieter moments, there’s a palpable tension that always keeps the listener on the edge of their seat. Transitions between loud and soft musical passages are handled with absolute precision, which is a testament to the collective experience of each member of Watercolour Ghosts. Coupled with the expert song-crafting is an excellent production that gives the music an extra set of dynamics; the heavy guitar parts hit hard, while the more shoegaze sounding guitar bits sound dreamlike.
Fans of Russian Circles or Red Sparrowes should take notice, as Watercolour Ghosts hits a lot of the same strides. Another similar band that comes to mind is The Dear Hunter, though Watercolour Ghosts are a bit heavier at times. While this might turn off a lot of listeners that are looking for something more in line with Isis or Neurosis in their post-metal, I would strongly suggest giving this band a chance if you’re into shoegaze, post-rock, and metal, especially when all three of those things are mixed.