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Greylevel Hypostatic Union album cover
3.62 | 58 ratings | 5 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Memory Remains (9:31)
2. Achromatize (11:13)
3. Terminal (8:15)
4. Pale Blue Dot (7:44)
5. Already, Not Yet (9:03)
6. Buried in Time (3:46)
7. Hypostatic Union (13:09)
8. Parallel Signals (5:11)

Total Time 67:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Barber / Vocals, Keyboards, Rhythm Guitars
- Richard Shukin / Rhythm & Lead Guitars
- Davis Friesen / Bass
- Tyler Friesen / Drums
- Esther Barber / Vocals

Releases information

ProgRock Records

Thanks to progpositivity for the addition
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GREYLEVEL Hypostatic Union ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

GREYLEVEL Hypostatic Union reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars If you're the sort of person who just can't get enough of spacey progressive rock, Greylevel's latest outing is bound to leave you amazed. Hypostatic Union is the second album from this Canadian quintet, and its dreamy blend of modern progressive rock and psychedelic textures have left me impressed since my first listen. As one of the few albums that manages to be both initially pleasing and increasingly enjoyable over the course of each successive listen, Hypostatic Union's lengthy and haunting compositions are inescapably memorable and intriguing, and every new listen opens up a whole new door of exploration into the wonderful sounds that Greylevel have packaged together. Greylevel may be occasionally labeled as a Porcupine Tree clone, but when the quality of the music is this high, there's little for me to complain about.

I will say from the get-go that even though Greylevel clearly have a strong influence from Porcupine Tree's early output, they don't come across as a clone on Hypostatic Union. The spacey Pink Floyd-influenced atmospheres and pitch-perfect production bring a Steven Wilson project to mind, but Greylevel do have a unique sense of direction and originality with this effort. Regardless of whether or not Greylevel can be labeled as a "clone", the music is so good that this shouldn't be a hindrance to any listener. Greylevel knows how to write damn good progressive rock, and all of the eight songs here are equally impressive. Even though its duration is nearly seventy minutes long, it doesn't lose any steam by the end of the record. My personal favorite track is highly emotional "Terminal" - the flow on this track is simply unbelievable, and the mood changes always keep the listener on their toes. The dreamy keyboard atmospheres and melancholic vocals throughout the entire album immediately grab my attention, and the depth contained within the songwriting allows my enjoyment to consistently increase with every new spin.

Hypostatic Union isn't an album that will put you in "cheery" mood, so to speak, but fans of melancholic and bleak progressive rock should have a blast with this one. If you like the spacey atmospheres of Pink Floyd, the melancholic songwriting of Hogarth-era Marillion, and the progressive compositions of Porcupine Tree, it's difficult to go wrong with this fantastic effort. Greylevel has successfully proven that they're a band to watch out for, and I'll be keeping a close eye on this Canadian act in the coming years. A big 4 star rating is fully deserved.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Hypostatic Union' - Greylevel (8/10)

Sometimes, there's a mood once upon a dreary night that only a band like Greylevel can properly provide the soundtrack for. To call this music 'depressing' would be a fairly accurate statement; this is a Canadian act that specializes in tugging on the listener's heartstrings through use of atmosphere and melody. Coming from a fairly rainy part of North America- my part, in fact- I can see what may have inspired Greylevel to make this sort of music; and it does show through in the music. 'Hypostatic Union' is an exercise in all things melancholic, and it has ultimately become one of the most moving albums of its style I've heard this year.

I guess the best way to describe the music of Greylevel would not be so much as 'space rock' as some would call them, but rather giving the label of 'depressive rock'; the sort of emotive, atmosphere driven music that Katatonia and even Porcupine Tree dives into. On the note of Porcupine Tree, the sound and style of Greylevel is somewhat similar, an easy comparison to Steven Wilson's work when he is at his most melancholic. 'Hypostatic Union' has a fairly unchanging style throughout, relying mostly on an aquatic wall of sound with moving, somewhat loose songwriting. There are occasional acoustics here, but much of this album is aimed towards giving the listener a very lucid state. Even if the songwriting here was subpar, the atmosphere that backs up the music itself would have been enough to warrant at least checking out. Thankfuly though, that's only where the goodness of this album begins.

It could be said that a little more variety to what Greylevel do would have helped the album leave a bigger impression, but as it stands, I find myself very attracted to what the band is already doing. This is a melancholic, saddening collection of songs, each doing quite well to hit the listener with a dose of angst. This songwriting is brought forth through a fairly spacey format, with plenty of reverb in the guitars, and brooding vocals that suit perfectly the style that the band is going for. 'Hypostatic Union' gives me the feeling of gliding over an ocean while a light rain is pattering overhead. It is dreary- yes- but there is a sense of vastness and hope about it that makes it all the more moving. An excellent album.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Canadian band GREYLEVEL started out 10 years ago, initially as the solo vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist Derek Barber, but over time this project developed into a full-fledged band unit. "Hypostatic Union" is their second production, following five years after their debut album "Opus One", both of which have been issued by the US label Progrock Records.

"Hypostatic Union" is a production that contains subtly bleak and emotionally distanced music, taking its cues from 90's indie and alternative rock and aspiring to blend it with the majestic sounds of late 70's Pink Floyd or vice versa: well-constructed, -performed and -recorded, with a good quality mix and production to match. The band and album alike will most likely have their main appeal amongst fans of a band like Porcupine Tree, and I'd recommend those who enjoy that type of music to lend an ear to what Greylevel has to offer.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars Between 2001 and 2005, Derek Barber (vocals, keys, rhythm guitars) was writing songs and recording them in a home studio, distributing them to family and friends. Then in 2005 he was joined by singer Esther Barber and guitarist Richard Shukin and together theyr worked on the material and released 'Opus One'. That gained them interest from ProgRock Records who signed them up and the group then expanded with the addition of bassist Davis Friesen and drummer Tyler Friesen, and it was the five of them that worked on the songs of the follow-up 'Hypostatic Union'. These guys made be Canadian, but they have much more in common with British prog than anything from their how country.

Imagine early Porcupine Tree mixing with Menel-era IQ and Pionk Floyd and you may just get some idea of what this band sounds like. There is often a wall of sound, both vocals and music, which yet although it is like a wave crashing over the listener all of the individual instruments and parts are still full of clarity and substance. The only thing that I found jarring is the use of Eighties style keyboard sounds which just didn't work for me, apart from making me think that I ought to play more music from thirty years ago. There is a melancholia throughout the album, yet there is a feeling also that there isn't as much depth as there needs to be, so overall it doesn't seem quite right.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Greylevel from Canada manage to capture my attention with their second release from 2011 named Hypostatic Union. The band was formed since 2001 nad they release so far only 2 albums, both quite good recived both by fans and critics. Lenghty album, clocking over an hour with spacey prog passages melted with some more modern aproach to prog not far from Pinneaple Thief offerings or No-Man music or with early Porcupine Tree albums. lenght pieces, 5 out of 8 are over 8 min, with nice musicianship, dark atmosphere here and there, accesible in many parts but yet quite complicated in arrangements, also is technical but yet emotional. Pieces like Memory Remains or Pale blue dot are definetly winners, showing that Greylevel have potential to penetrate moder prog scene and going shoulder to shoulder with big names of the genre. For me definetly a good album, not quite fantastic but more then ok , desearves for sure attention for fans of aformentioned bands. 3 stars maybe 3.5 in places.

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