Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 9/29/2007
Shadows Of Old Ghosts
posted on 2/2008 By:
The probability that anyone reading this heard Graveyard Dirt during their initial run is, well, pretty slim simply because they only got around to releasing a single demo in 1996 and weren't heard from again. That is, until last year, when the band regrouped and put out an EP with the name Shadows of Old Ghosts; a dark, haunting name for a dark, haunting slab of doom metal.
Graveyard Dirt play traditional doom metal but with hints of sludge in the guitar sound as well as a few gestures to bands like My Dying Bride and Novembers Doom. Certainly there aren't any "gothy" undertones like My Dying Bride, but the band's share some of the same moods and especially when Graveyard Dirt take the (even) slower, melodic approach there's definitely shades of modern My Dying Bride peaking through.
The album comes in with three songs, altogether clocking in at over thirty minutes and a downright gloomy and oppressive sound. Paul Leyden's vocals only amplify the mood as he moves from a laborious shout, for the heavier moments, to laying low and taking on a near spoken word approach for softer moments. The eleven minute opening song, "Rise… Fallen Skies" builds up slow and doesn't really start to set a groove until a minute and a half in, which is when things really start to cook. The opening full riff reminds me of the song "Realms of Reverie" by Well of Souls from the U.S. before the initial trailing melody is cut off for the verses, creating an all new atmosphere, one that's much harsher. Things take a slow turn near the five minute mark, things becoming much more restrained, Paul Leyden taking up a near whisper, with simple guitar work and slight accents that eventually give way to some inspired lead work; which is where I have to say Graveyard Dirt really excels. Each song on this release has some serious lead work, even some great dual leads that are definitely not something you hear in every doom release that comes down the pipes.
"A Tearless Lament" can definitely be described by its title. The song being downright depressing, a melancholic melody is constantly thrown at the listener, laid overtop of simple, yet effective, drum and bass work. Release ending, "Gathering Storm" is soft, bringing the subdued, melodic elements of the previous two songs out for display. Piano is even brought out to lead early on in the song. This is where some effects come in to play, echoing vocals, guitar leads pushed hauntingly into the background. All of this is used to create a very sombre mood, even if we do see some extremely heavy sections poking through about mid-way through the song.
It's actually quite depressing that a band as advanced as Graveyard Dirt are just now releasing their first EP after forming originally fifteen years ago. One can only hope that we'll see more in the future, but that it won't take so long to hear something new from the band.
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