Cemetery Echo is a ‘new-and-improved’ band hailing from Buffalo, New York. New and improved as in their press sheet they state they had quite a turbulent past out of whose remains the band has been built, without elaborating on it. Well, if they won’t who am I to demand I want to anyway? So no further introduction of Rob, Erik, Jay and Kenny, I’ll simply jump straight to the music of their debut release, an EP called Come Share my Shroud. It contains four songs, although the first song is nothing more than a soundscape intro, so technically it’s a three-song release that only lasts a quarter of an hour. It’s too short to be able to form a definitive judgment about this band, but it’ll certainly give you a rough idea of what they are all about.
After listening to this EP quite a few times, I was still not completely sure whether Cemetery Echo should be called a metal band or a rock band, but that their preferred pastime is to play gothic music was undisputedly obvious early on. Equally obvious is that their music leans heavily on the musical style of the eighties gothic pop/rock scene where bands like The Cure and The Cult were some of the top players. However, despite the clear similarities Cemetery Echo did not simply copy and paste, but instead added their own twist to it to distinguish their style from that of the band that dominated the aforementioned scene. Although objectively the music isn’t all that innovative, bearing many easily recognizable hints to the past, it has a pleasant vibe to it that ensures you will want to keep close to its development. The twist, however, that really sets them apart from their almost ancient predecessors and source of inspiration are the vocals.
Switching smoothly from some sort of evil growling via an ominous whisper to the characteristic eighties gothic troubled, dark yet clean vocals and back, the atmosphere constantly changes. Although this is a recurring feature it comes out the best in the title song. These varying vocals add extra depth to the music, making this an interesting and promising release. It’s probably quite obvious the vocals draw the most attention, but that does not mean the musical performance is below average or not worth discussing. On the contrary, this too certainly meets the required quality needed to have a chance in the overcrowded world of heavy music. Not only do they know how to play, the production on this augments that even more as each instrument is clearly mixed into the whole. Great job. A band I will certainly keep an eye out for. And my final verdict: It’s rock, not metal.