For an album that is self released, the production quality on Watercolour Ghosts’ self-titled album is stunning. It could also be that this Perth, Australia band touts members who also spent time in bands like Vespers Descent, Chaos Divine, Noctic, Ur Draugr, and Deadspace. These guys know what they are doing.
So you can expect great quality from Watercolour Ghosts, but you can also expect eclectic perspective in their songs from non-traditional time signatures to non-traditional metal prowess. “Like Animals” is the common denominator as there is an original and an acoustic version. Drew James Griffith’s vocals are in the forefront of both versions. He reminds me of Todd La Torre in the way he nurtures his melodies and draws them out like the wind carrying a word away. And as embracing and powerful as it all seems, the band morphs into a haunting and lonely version that exposes themselves like a serenade to the purity of the night. The acoustic version is part lullaby and part soliloquy. And even though both are the same song, they become two separate entities and completely viable on both ends.
What happens in between the opener and closer is a relationship that has to be developed. You feel an immediate attraction, but understanding takes time as the path through this release is not a straight one. And the moment I find this band shining is when they slow down— like the parts of “Solipsism”— and become more contemplative in tone and texture. It’s an album where the guitars are used more for foundation than the rhythm itself. It makes for a stronger bass level for each song and allows Griffith the freedom to expand in thought and creativity. Griffith is an amazing vocalist without seemingly trying to be and the band really does a wonderful job at pushing him up on that pedestal.
By the end of the album, I cannot help but be infatuated with what I heard. I keep wanting to go back and explore all of the nooks and layers of each song as I keep finding a heightened enlightenment that blossoms from the core of what this band has developed. A well-rounded release used to provoke thought and conversation, Watercolour Ghosts are indeed true artists of their craft.