Life as a Ghost’s new EP, Perception, may be brief, but it packs its fair share of memorable moments. Oddly, it starts out slow, and the five-song collection takes a while to achieve liftoff. Opener “S[K]in Deep” is a solid slab of modern metalcore, kicking off with an ominous array of winding guitars and drum blasts, and “Bear Trap” packs a gut punch. But the licks lack imagination, and the clean choruses, while mildly catchy, aren’t anything you couldn’t find on a typical Rise Records release. Fortunately, the record picks up steam with the final three tracks. The crunchy metallic chords on “Re:Versions” give way to spare, melodic verses showcasing shimmering guitar textures and vocalist Nick Prainito’s considerable range. The song also boasts some of the record’s most compelling lyrics (“The world is wrapped in black and white, it’s like a masquerade / Disguising all my traits, keeping the light away”). “Foreign Tongues” is an epic closer, and the best representation of Life as a Ghost’s collective talents. Guitarists Jerry DeLorenzo and Nick Viscovich lay down some fine axe work — particularly the reverb-enhanced leads on the chorus — while drummer Ray Altamura holds down the fort with some intense, focused beats. The track ends with somber piano chords and Prainito’s anguished cries. Overall, Perception is a confident work by a band that continues to evolve.
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