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Grayceon - Grayceon CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.80 | 34 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yet another wonderful, unique progressive metal album for 2007. The year has been rich with impressive submissions from Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and others, but Grayceon more than hold their own on this stunning debut. The first thing you notice about the band is that it only has three members, a guitarist, a cellist, and a drummer. They also use sparse overdubs, if any at all. However, the sound is so rich and full you'd swear this had been layered more than a Queen album.

The music effortlessly combines riffy metal with the more texture-oriented post-rock. The use of the electric cello over a bass guitar only adds to the richness of the guitar, as the two blend seamlessly and propel the music with lush soundscapes that give way to the occasional riff. The drummer, Zack Farwell, does an excellent job of balancing the two aspects of the band's sound. He can switch from the minimalistic beats of post-rock to some borderline flashy metal skin bashing. The music hinges upon him as much as it does the constantly changing movements of the strings.

Of the four tracks, three are lengthy journeys through every possible mood of music. The other, Song For You, is a shorter number that stands out for its aggressiveness. It is the most metallic track on the album, though metal bits pop up on every track. Sounds Like Thunder opens the album with an incredible slow build that sets the mood for the album. This flaunts the band's post-rock credentials while at the same time adding great vocal harmonies between Max and Jackie that set them apart from other post-rock groups like Explosions in the Sky. While post-metal is nothing new, Grayceon mix things up by incorporating clssic metal aspects into the music, like riffs. It isn't simply down-tuned post-rock. Into the Deep builds from a soft acoustic intro (which is how the other two big songs start) to a killer metal section that reminds me of Ayreon at its riffiest moments. Ride is one of the most apt titles ever, as the song is a voyage through the peaks and troughs of the band's soundscapes. It is simultaneously magnanimously grandiose and ferociously raw. It's as if the band's talent is conflicting with the fact that the are just forming.

This is a group to watch out for. They bring a sophistication and chemistry that many established prog metal acts would be hard-pressed to match, let alone exceed. In a year already clogged with more standout releases than I can count, Grayceon effectively place themselves at the top of the heap. I will be very interested to see where the band goes from here.

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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