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Grayceon - This Grand Show CD (album) cover

THIS GRAND SHOW

Grayceon

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.96 | 14 ratings

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Negoba
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Tasty but Strangely Spiced Post-Metalish Stew - Chamber Metal?

Those who seem to be in the know have said that Grayceon is not post-metal, but the band's music is certainly based in the atmospheric sludgy sound of that genre. However, they add some unique elements that I've heard virtually nowhere else. Jackie Perez Gratz' addition of cello and clean female vocals give Grayceon a quite unique sound. She had also contributed to the band Giant Squid, whose album I had liked and led me to THIS GRAND SHOW. As it turns out, I actually like the Grayceon album better than the Squid disc. The combination of Perez and Max Doyle's vocals is both more interesting and easier on the ears than GS's System of a Down styled singing. In addition, the cello's intrinsic role in the music just adds, well, a nice spice to the stew, perhaps hinting at maudlin of the Well.

Like Toby Driver's projects, there is something essentially beautiful about Grayceon's sound despite its melancholic drag. And while the band has a great signature sound, varies their tempos, and shows us a number of looks in their lead elements, they just don't have the bag of tricks that Driver does. No track really stands out or grabs you by the collar and demands attention. In that way, it allies itself with post-metal or even post-rock as background mood music rather than art metal that requires close attention to detail. But this is deceptive, for the additional textures make this music better than any post-metal I've ever listened to.

In fact, this is a little bit of a difficult review, as Grayceon's sound is very hard to put your finger on. But it's good. I keep coming back to it to listen again. More than Indukti (another band in this category that uses strings) as Grayceon's compositions are much better. More than Giant Squid which is just grating enough to get old before the album is over. More than Pelican. More than Isis. I suppose it comes down to the sophistication of the compositions. At this moment, I listen through the epic "Sleep" and realize how meticulously this music has been constructed. It is now that the term Chamber Metal comes into my mind.

Fans of Kayo Dot and Maudlin of the Well are almost certain to enjoy this album, though it is clearly more accessible than either of those projects. Still, this is very ambitious music that actually accomplished what so many other bands attempt and don't quite accomplish in my opinion. If there was just that sense of awe or true transcendence, this would be a masterpiece.

Negoba | 4/5 |

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