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Unsigned and Unholy: Ellie Rose, Ghosts of Sailors at Sea, Devotion

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Singer, songwriter, guitarist, progressive metal artist and trans woman Ellie Rose writes into MetalSucks with the following: “I’m trying to get the word out about trans women in metal because we’re massively overlooked and we get just about *zero* respect in the community. I figure, if my music kicks enough ass, the bigots in the community will have to eventually accept that trans women are fucking awesome and metal needs a place for us too.” We couldn’t agree more, and thankfully, her music does kick enough ass. Her new demo EP Grief eclipses the fifty minute mark but features just four tracks, which should tell you where Rose’s mind is — deeply rooted in classic progressive metal (i.e. Death, Atheist, etc) — although she’s clearly influenced by thrash, black and myriad other forms of metal, too. While the drums and bass on the demo EP are programmed, all the instruments and vocals — and said programming — were done by Rose herself. In time, she hopes to put together a full band to give these songs the full production treatment.

Ghosts of Sailors at Sea, who appeared in last year’s Converse Rubber Tracks x MetalSucks series, return with a brand new, full-length album. Red Sky Morning finds the Boston-area band picking up where they left off last autumn; richly orchestrated, atmospheric post-rock that invites the listener to choose from any number of journeys given his or her current mood. Extrapolated over the length of a full album, that’s even more the case; Red Sky Morning has so much to offer, and while the band leaves their distinct sonic imprint on every track no two of them sound much alike.

Devotion‘s single “Ocean of Grief” sounds so much like Corrosion of Conformity’s “Albatross” that I had to double-check I didn’t have the wrong video on. The guys are even wearing era-appropriate long-sleeve waffle shirts, one of them under a t-shirt! Still, a band that wears their influences so proudly on their sleeves (in this case, literally) can be given a pass when the honored band is an underground favorite like CoC (albeit their most mainstream era), and I found myself really digging this song. Good stuff.

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