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Grayceon – Mothers Weavers Vultures

Grayceon
Mothers Weavers Vultures
by Eric Poulin at 16 February 2021, 6:36 AM

GRAYCEON is a progressive rock/metal based out of San Francisco, California in the United States and who have been around since 2005. This is their fifth full-length album entitled “Mothers Weavers Vultures” which was released through Translation Loss Records on December 18th, 2020. I was only vaguely familiar with this band as I was going through various progressive metal bands in the early to mid-2000s (when this band started) and only vaguely remembered what I heard approx. 15 years ago.

The rather celtic-influenced, cello based intro of “Diablo Wind” has that pure progressive substance with the music slowly getting louder, the drums faster and the guitars getting much heavier in the process. The vocal style would be welcomed in some of today’s more prominent doom projects such as PALLBEARER and KHEMMIS and to a certain extent, there are some musical comparisons that can be made as the music does have that bleak side to it. The song does not really stray from the main melody, but when it does and slows down the proceeding, there are intricate parts that ooze ALICE IN CHAINS. The distinctive use of cellos adds a completely different layer than what your traditional progressive rock or metal bands would bring in a 12-minute epic.

“The Lucky Ones” sounds like something out of the medieval times if heavy guitars existed back in that era. It relies on a very folk foundation and even has sides of KYUSS and the desert rock scene of the 1990s. Also, the vocals really shine in the quieter moments, that are as beautiful and passionate as the late 1990s ANATHEMA. The music does not solely rely on slowness, and actually does get quicker as there are some “thrashier” parts, but I would say this does not get any faster than when TIAMAT wanted to prove they could still jam their instruments as fast as old school death metal counterparts.

If there was any throwback to the Peaceville era and the iconic MY DYING BRIDE, look no further than “This Bed”, the absolute embodiment of melancholy, sadness and the descent into depression. It really draws on the blueprint laid over 25 years by many of the United Kingdom’s greatest doom bands. The music is well crafted and acts more like a boat going over an ocean, than just simply being a storyteller. If you wish to drift away, this will be soundtrack to accompany that mental trip.

Finally, the album’s closer “Rock Steady” seems almost like the fitting music to an outdoor dance during the renaissance era. I can totally picture women dancing around in circles in an almost shamanic way. The song just has that special vibe and even encapsules the ballad material from KANSAS in the 1970s. The track is not the most energetic, but it has some very heavy moments at the tail end, with rather aggressive growls (something I did not expect at all). I would not compare this to OPETH but you could make the case that this has the makings of early KATATONIA

This was a rather interesting album, as I had no idea what to expect in terms of progressive metal and I still find the band relies much more on doom, than the prog side of things, and uses the cello to give the music a very nostalgic feel. While there is a rather large amount of repetition, the songs have a very decent flow to them and make the album sound more like 1 composition, than 5 separate songs. If you linger to hear melancholy and want a different variety of prog, I think GRAYCEON would be a good place to start.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability:    7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Diablo Wind
2. The Lucky Ones
3. This Bed
4. And Shine On
5. Rock Steady
Lineup:
Jackie Perez Gratz - Cello, Vocals
Zack Farwell - Drums
Max Doyle - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Translation Loss Records
     


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