Ghost Community are far from tentative on their debut – opener Rise Up is a big, bold rocker with light touches of keyboards and an ambience that belies any ‘new band’ expectations. Of course, this isn’t some bunch of newbies – a line-up of folk from The Reasoning, Also Eden and Godsticks represents serious contemporary prog experience. Musically, Cycle Of Life takes threads from the aforementioned bands and pulls them together in a consistent and effective manner, while adding further interesting dimensions. There’s a strong hard rock core, yet strains of neo-prog are never far away, especially in tracks like Mirror Lakes and the impressive, lengthy title track.
There are moments that are reminiscent of Marillion: for instance, in the ballad-like lilt and slow-build intensity of Anything And Everything. John Paul Vaughan’s voice has the tone, phrasing and edge of IQ’s Peter Nicholls, and vocal parts sometimes seem constructed along similar lines. This isn’t to take anything away from Vaughan – he has great range and power and fronts the songs here with impassioned urgency. With a timely central theme of positivity and of people uniting in the face of adversity, Ghost Community have crafted a winner.