Review Summary: Once you are Deep In The Shallow End, you'll be so far under you won't be able to breathe.
This album is heavy, in all honesty it is horrifyingly heavy. The whole thing feels like a death march through the mud. It's just slow, painful, and quietly loud. However, this is not to say that Gray Ghost's effort here is bad. In fact, it is fantastic. No matter how much this album chokes the listener, it is truly a beacon of light in music. However, it is paradoxical that this CD would be considered a beacon of light considering Deep In the Shallow End emits no light whatsoever.
Every single second, aside from the closing track, of this CD is laden with heavy, slow guitars, crashing cymbals, and growled or screamed vocals. This album never has a "light at the end of the tunnel" moment. It simply stays in a dark cave throughout its entirety. It's dark. It's slow. It's hopeless. It's angry.
Siberian, to name one of the seven songs on this album, has some incredulously hopeless lyrics. Some of which are:" Welcome to bitter wasteland, we call this home... Taste the wretched cold." There is not a single atom of hope, not one whatsoever, present in this release. Deep In The Shallow End is exactly what the title implies. It's the feeling of drowning inches from the surface. It's a sense of desperation, really.
Among the many hardcore/metal albums out there, this one seems to emit some of the most excruciating pain out of all of them. Maybe it's the slow moving power chords or the always-audible bass. Maybe it's the way the drummer beats the very life out of his drums. Maybe it's the way that the vocals sound, crass and angry. Or, maybe it's the beautiful sludge of a sound that all of the band combined sounds like. No matter what the source of this immense hopelessness is, it is always present on Deep In The Shallow End. It is unrelenting, respite from this album can only be found within another album of another band. The only cure for the depressive state of mind that Deep In The Shallow End administers is simply listening to something, or someone, else. The listener will have no hope of finding hope within the vibe of despair contained by this seven track release. Any form of hope is simply not on this album.
This immense gloom that Gray Ghost has crafted in Deep In The Shallow End is truly fantastic. Never have I been introduced to a sound as harsh as Gray Ghost. It is pure pain, that's what this album is. The emotion that one can sense in every single track is what makes this album so fantastic. Once Deep In The Shallow End grabs hold of you, it will be hard to get it to let go.
Listen to this.