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WILLIAM GRAY

Symphonic Prog • Argentina


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William Gray biography
WILLIAM GRAY is an ambitious audiovisual project that by this moment counts with 10 stable members: Sebastián Medina (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar), Juan Manuel Tavella (sitar), Federico Ferme (acoustic and electric guitar), Nicolàs Castiglia (piano, keys), Mauro Escobar (bass), Manuel Cañal (Drums), Carolina Azcune (choirs), Agustín Uriburu (cello), Marcela Muollo (cello) and Joaquin Angiolini (bandoneón)*.

The project is born from the fusion of the soloist project "Living Fossils", recorded by independent musicians from the Academic Orchestra of Teatro Colón, the choir of the Engineering Faculty Choir (UBA) and the Camera 31, Pez, Rockafonica, The Sheppers and the Typical Orchestra El Astillero (Tango).

WILLIAM GRAY blends Prog Rock, Classical passages, Tango and certain elements of Argentinean folklore. On stage they act on the format of Rock Opera, enhanced by an audiovisual presentation in which the images dispute the leading role with the actors and telling fantastic stories (Somehow as The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the few times that worked).

They are influenced by ASTOR PIAZZOLA, ALBERTO GINASTERA, KING CRIMSON, JETHRO TULL, QUEEN, etc, and to be honest, their music is mind-blowing.

WILLIAM GRAY has released two albums "Living Fossils" (2006) and "Silentio" (2012), both, worth to listen, but would be much better if they launched a Blu Ray in which we could see the integral project.

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú.

* Bandoneón: An Argentinian concertina or small accordion used massively in tango.

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WILLIAM GRAY discography


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WILLIAM GRAY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 43 ratings
Living Fossils
2006
3.76 | 33 ratings
Silentio
2012

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WILLIAM GRAY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Living Fossils by WILLIAM GRAY album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.86 | 43 ratings

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Living Fossils
William Gray Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars An Argentinian band from Buenos Aires, started during the millenium as a project by composer/guitarist/singer Sebastian Medina, to become a regular band in the process.Medina was responsible for William's Gray debut ''Living Fossils'', an ambitious Progressive Rock concept, which was said to be an audio-visual experience complemented by a multi-media site, where the band was supported by a 10-member choir and a small Classical orchestra of 7 musicians.The rest of William Gray were Juan Manuel Tavella on keys/piano, Federico Ferme on guitars, Juan Manuel Salidas on bass and Mauro Graziano on drums.The album was privately released in 2006.

This is trully a flexible and varied modern Progressive Rock album, where Symphonic and Heavy Rock are blended with the charm of Argentinian tradition and the atmosphere of Classical Music, somewhat like a mix between the lush arrangements of SPOCK'S BEARD, the haunting sound of AFTER CRYING and the lyricism of PINK FLOYD.The majority of the album follows an eclectic style with melodic guitars, heavy grooves, excellent vocal lines by Medina and some great work by Tavella, including both analog (some great organ runs to be found) and digital keyboards, characterized by nice arrangements, lots of instrumental rooms but also a strong melodic content.William's Gray stylings though range from mellow and emotional vocal-based parts with deep acoustic themes to intense and passionate electric musicianship with a grandiose sound.In between the longer tracks or even during these rock arrangements there are plenty of Classical orchestral moments, performed by the rich supporting string section, or smooth piano interludes delivered by Tavella.However the strongest contribution of William Gray through this abum is the modest addition of elements from Argentinian Music in a few tracks like the Tango-inspired version of ''Urban battle I''.

The first time I spinned this album it was a really hard following with this great mass of different styles.But time would proove that ''Living Fossils'' is a certain grower and I consider William Gray a band with a bright future.This is a strong and recommended eclectic album for fans of intricate Progressive Rock.

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 Living Fossils by WILLIAM GRAY album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.86 | 43 ratings

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Living Fossils
William Gray Symphonic Prog

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars This album got me completely! I've been hearing WILLIAM GRAY's "Living Fossils" at least once per week since 2007 began - it's almost one entire year by now. My approach to this stunning work goes more in the direction that this Argentinean act made a rich and astonishing panel of everything we have seen/heard in the prog scene in the last 40 years.

Here one will find all: marvelous symphonic tunes, folk and balladesque melodies, hard and metallish parts, new classical & romantic & baroque, psych & space tints, etc. Even being a conceptual work, the band provided each section with a different song, linked by the main theme but having few musically in common among them, except for the atmosphere they produce: heavy, dark, quaint, melodic, exquisite - plus ça change, plus ç'est la même chose! Influences range from Beatles to Astor Piazzola, not forgetting King Crimson, Genesis, Anglagard, and many others. But it's not a salad: everything runs accordingly; a real progressive output.

The short 'Intro' has delicate chords resembling a child's piano only to introduce the explosive 'Darkest side', where WILLIAM GRAY show their claws vigorously. We are then wrapped in a parallel world of dream and illusion, an endless vertigo of marvels - check those string parts, for God's sake! 'Prossession I', the following track, pushes us into a dungeon of mystery and fear with its wonderful church organ sound. And then 'Fading points' brings us back to the original theme, this time in a poignant way through suave vocals and cool instrumentation, broken by hard guitar riffs and drumming beats and trimmed with some unique cello sounds. 'Broken minstrel' pulls us to reality with acoustic guitars backing a plain singing and soft choir; a kind of relief like dividing "Living Fossils" in two segments although the atmosphere goes in a crescendo until a point that the song starts to fade - a nice effect.

'Introspection' looks like a sorrowful piano lesson soon transformed into magic synth sounds that give room to the metallic exordium of 'Urban battle I", and we can feel precisely the fate of Virgilio, the album's character. The song segues to a baffling miscellanea of tunes and chords only to be chilled by the prodigious 'Eye in the hole', which for some reason reminds me Beatles' 'I want you' with its mesmerizing guitar riff. 'Dragonfly' displays a nice pop-rock ambience with fine vocals and conventional instrumentation that provide a certain recovery moment after so many variations. 'Sadness' keeps the low-profile atmosphere with its catchy fingered acoustic guitars and cello accompaniment.

And then heaven crumbles with the church organ intro of 'Urban battle II' followed by nervous and harsh guitar action joined by severe Hammond playing and strange drumming spices. The grievous theme returns in 'Urban battle III', with each track separated from each other by the short and contemplative 'Interludio'. As the concept approaches its final a lugubrious environment holds sway pouring from the sepulchral organ in 'Prossession II' and mainly from the melancholic 'Awareness', the concept's ending but not the album's which also contains a dazzling tango version for 'Urban battle' suiting more accurately the adieu to this admirable release.

Being this album so fresh, I was a bit cautious to strike the masterliness label on "Living Fossils" but considering the overall thrill it transmitted to me (including the general production, cover artwork, etc) I have no other option than to apply the 5-star rating and recommend it effusively for everyone.

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 Living Fossils by WILLIAM GRAY album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.86 | 43 ratings

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Living Fossils
William Gray Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars Now here is something modern, unique, and deserves some attention. William Gray has managed to create something very fresh, while still firmly staying in the realm of symphonic prog.

"Living Fossils" is a somewhat dark concept album, but it does have some upbeat moments. At first it sounds almost like metal, then the orchestral arrangements start to kick in. At times it is almost operatic (the music, not the vocals). The whole thing flows like an actual symphony. There are many time and mood changes. It almost has the feel of being influenced by the ghosts of classical composers. Even with all of the grandeur, there is no mistaking that this is rock.

Broad appeal would be another good tag for this album. There is something here for fans of many different sub-genres. Avant, Art, Metal, Neo, and even RPI fans would do well to check this out. However, the structure remains undeniably symphonic. Seek it out, you will be glad you did.

H.T. Riekels

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 Living Fossils by WILLIAM GRAY album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.86 | 43 ratings

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Living Fossils
William Gray Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Latin America seems to be a new Prog-leader nowadays. They're strong in CDs like this - straight-forward and enjoyable Prog album, evoking MARILLION and DREAM THEATER comparisons, but nothing special here (to be fairly honest). Good melodies, good playing, choirs and mellotrons, tasty guitar solos, long instrumental pieces, voice with a slight accento (doesn't spoil the party), everything's on its right place, but it left me totally cold. Surely I left this CD in my collection (since I got it from a friend ;) ), but don't expect revelations here. And dare I say this is good - when you're tired of experimental and avant things, there's nothing better than WILLIAM GRAY and related bands. Thanks for keeping Retro-Prog alive !!!

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 Living Fossils by WILLIAM GRAY album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.86 | 43 ratings

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Living Fossils
William Gray Symphonic Prog

Review by el böthy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars New comers William Gray came as a big surprise to me. Their first (and hopefully not their last) album Living Fossils is a nice mix of Heavy prog, in an Ayreon fashion, dark gothic classical compositions, symphonic keys and a stellar production for such an underground band. Although hailing from Argentina I would have never guessed this guys come from here, for the lyrics (and even the band's name) is in English, but, what's maybe most important, there is no recognizable Spanish accent in the singing, the English is quite pure, which is always nice; if you are going to sing in another language better do it right!

I discovered William Gray, not because of Porgarchives, but because the prog shop I some times go to buy me some nice (and expensive) prog albums. This time, I wasn't even going to buy something; I just happened to be around the neighborhood and said "Ok, why not take a look." And so I did. I stepped in, looked around, some nice stuff as always. I could not take it anymore, so many prog albums around me. I had to buy something! So I thought "Why not some Argentinean prog?" So I asked the owner to give me some nice national prog. "Here you go; William Gray".no, William Gray doesn't sound Argentinean. there must be something funny about this. Nope, there wasn't. "Well. I'll take it".

Now that I have told you the (incredibly interesting) story of how I got this album, I will talk about the music. First of all, William Gray is the band of Sebastian Medina. Does that ring any bells? No? Well, no surprise here, I didn't know about him either. Then, why do I mention him as if he was someone? Well, after this album. he should be someone! He pretty much wrote the whole thing, and let me tell you, this guy has some mad skills! The end result is very varied, rich in instrumentation and instrumental songs, strong vocals, also due to Medina and a wide range of instruments, that go from the most common guitar, bass, drums, keys to violins, viola, cellos, flute, bombo legüero (whatever that is) and bandoneón, a classic tango instrument, and as you might have already guessed it. there is some tango here and there. As I said, the result is amazing. The album is a concept one, although the story is not that clear. In fact, the booklet even has a comic that tells the events as a storyboard, but to tell the truth, they don´t help much, and here is why. To fully get the concept one has to go to their live shows (which where few but quite special from what I have heard), for on stage they play their music while they project the comic in a screen in motion. Interesting indeed! As I said the whole thing is a concept album, so I won't go into details about every song, for it has to be heard in it's totality.

I strongly recommend this album to anyone into concept albums (that is most of us.), dark melancholic prog, Ayreon and modern symphonic prog, I guarantee no disappointments!

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 Living Fossils by WILLIAM GRAY album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.86 | 43 ratings

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Living Fossils
William Gray Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is an Argentine musical project featuring 10 musicians and focussing on three subjects: an album, an audio-visual show and a multi-media website (still under construction). The story on this concept album is about a person called Virgilio who is walking on the streets of Buenos Aires and lives between sane and insanity. During my first listening session I got more and more excited, this is a very alternating and captivating blend of different styles, from compelling and bombastic with some progmetal climates (evoking Ayreon), powerful Hammond runs and fiery guitar to mellow pieces with classical piano and violin, impressive church-organ intro's or folky oriented songs with acoustic guitar and warm English vocals, what a splendid musical adventure!

I give you some of the many highlights on this CD. First Darkest Side: it starts compelling and bombastic with heavy guitar riffs, orchestral keyboards, violin and fiery guitar, then a mid- tempo with fluent Hammond runs, wonderful violin-Mellotron and powerful guitar followed by a short mellow part with melancholical violin play and in the end a slow rhythm with sensitive guitar and violin. Then the track Fading Points: lots of shifting moods and great ideas with bombastic interplay between Hammond and heavy guitar, blended with sparkling classical piano and heavy guitar runs, very exciting and dynamic! Another great composition is Urban Battle II: after a church-organ intro the atmosphere is compelling with fat guitar riffs and powerful Hammond waves along fiery guitar runs. The parts with dreamy piano, violin and the distinctive bandoneon turn the music into a very captivating experience. Finally the song Urban Battle III: the climate is bombastic with progmetal hints featuring great keyboard work (church-organ, Hammond, Mellotron) and thundering drums. The final track from this breathtaking album is in Argentine style delivering a tango atmosphere with piano and bandoneon, how beautiful with a very moving, melancholical undertone!

I am sure that many progheads will be delighted about this excellent debut CD, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!



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