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Grayceon - Grayceon CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.79 | 36 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Somebody get these guys money and a bass player ASAP!

Grayceon is an extremely promising band; they have a unique sound - you'll hear a fresh take on post- metal that is more energetic and, strangely so, stylistically closer to King Crimson than Isis most of the time - and a bunch of great ideas/riffs. The cello/guitar interplay is very competent and tasteful and the drumming is powerful. But what is the deal with this band's lack of a bass player? Bass is an integral part of music, rock music especially. The guitar isn't deep enough to carry the low end when the cello is playing a lead part, the bowed cello can't lock into a groove with the drums when the guitar is playing lead, and certainly nothing will be able to carry the low end when the guitar and cello are playing together. The music has an overall quality, but it just feels like there is something missing most of the time. The worst case is when the group forays into the metallic side of their work. The instruments are tuned down, but deep distorted power chords are never a good supplement for the clean single-note punches delivered by the bass (unless there are layers of the and/or the guitars have 8 strings like Meshuggah). And from what I've heard, they aren't even looking for a bass player! This means one of thwo things: either they are obstinately refusing to have a bass in their group for some reason, be it that they want to experiment with this guitar/cello/drum trio set-up, they are just trying to be different, or something else (regardless, I'll have to disagree with their motives), or their personalities are just so repulsive that they can't get one to join them (which I would find hard to believe, not to mention that I would not pass such negative judgement on them without having met). I'm pretty bent on the bass here, but it's possible that a different instrument might work out as well.

The next issue is recording quality. It is poor. The mix is a little muddy, and the sound is too raw and simply isn't thick enough. Now that will bring me back to the bass issue again, but I shall not restate myself. What I will say, though, is that they might even want to consider recording multiple guitar and/or cello tracks strictly to carry the would-be bass duties. They can probably make due without a bassist live, but in the studio, something needs to be there. I'm not sure if the group wanted to sound so raw and unadulterated, if you will, but frankly, technological aid really helps make an album shine. You can tell nothing [noticeable] was done to the vocals. I don't even think they added any reverb. The guy/girl vocal combos are almost always a delight, and here is no exception, but there are pitch issues that went uncorrected and the vocals have no color. They are pretty dull. The melodies themselves were well-written, but the performance leaves more to be desired. Maybe they realized this and that's why the vocal tracks aren't on top of the music in the mix, which is generally a big no-no. I know that this is a budget issue though. They are a new band on an independent label. Of course I can't hold that against them, but lets face it, a well-produced album of comparable quality will be the one that you choose to listen to a majority of the time.

I wish I had more specific postives to note, but I can't pinpoint any portions of the album where the band rises to near-glorious peaks. You can blame that on my not having listened to this enough to know exactly, but unfortunately the ever-present weaknesses of this album have formed a tough, thick membrane around the strengths which I have not the desire nor willpower to penetrate to fully discover. But don't get me wrong, as negative as this review is, the album is not bad. As I stated earlier, this band is reeking of potential, and I am making the choice to wait on the unlocking of that potential before I start listening to this band, and I am going to recommend the same choice to everyone. Don't forget about this band completely, but don't bother too much with them right now. I do think this band should get picked up by a decent label so that they can afford to make the album that I know they are capable of making; this band will sell well in the prog/post/metal markets!

Moatilliatta | 2/5 |


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