The unremitting, powerful drums in “Tomahawk,” the opening track of Cold Smoke EP, welcome listeners and introduce them to the hard-hitting, abrasive world of Glass Eyed Ghost’s music. The percussion and distorted guitars surge forward at a blistering pace throughout the song, but their harsh edge is assuaged slightly by the equally powerful yet melodic vocals and harmonies provided by Steve Nelson and Evan Seeberger.
As unbelievable as it may seem, the intro to the next track on the record is even faster than “Tomahawk.” Thankfully, especially for the drummer’s livelihood, the track alternates between quick and slow, loud and soft, and staccato and drawn out notes. About halfway through this tune, a segment featuring a ¾ time scheme and subtly softened vocals adds variety to an already varietous song.
The album finally slows down on the EP’s title track “Cold Smoke,” a head-bobbing ballad featuring complex bass lines, echoing and reverb-laced guitars, and plaintive, yet aspirant lyrics. The range of emotions and harmonious sounds, as well as the pristine vocals, on this track make it a definitive highlight of the album. The pace picks back up in “Initiation,” a danceable song that progresses into a full-fledged rock anthem as the track advances.
“Glass Eyed Ghost” is perhaps the darkest, most ominous track that Cold Smoke EP has to offer. Its strictly minor mood is accompanied by controlled vocals that constantly border delicately between singing and screaming, occasionally landing on one of the two extremes temporarily. This tune’s catchy motifs and stylistic riffs easily get stuck in the heads of listeners, making it another song deserving of a spotlight.
The final song of the album, “Still Waters Run Deep” starts off quietly and reflectively, but the band’s typical sound quickly returns to the mix as power chords strike unfalteringly and a solid drumbeat is created. The guitar solo at the end of this song feels like a triumphant victory shout celebrating the success of the album as a whole, and as listeners would agree, this album is successful.
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