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GreyAblaze - GreyAblaze

GreyAblaze
GreyAblaze
by Lauren Fonto at 01 April 2017, 2:08 PM

GREYABLAZE is the side-project of Astargh from the band ELDERBLOOD. The former also includes members from KZOHH, KHORS and ULVEGR. Astargh is the principal songwriter on the album. Alongside Helg (who wrote all of the lyrics), he co-produced the album as well. The band’s sound is described as post-black metal. My overall impression was that this is a strong debut indeed. I’d say that the members’ experience with other bands has served them well. A strength of this band is the harmony between the black metal side and the “post” side. While keyboard parts could be gimmicky in the hands of lesser bands, Astargh uses the instrument in such a way that the songs would not have the same impact without them. For example, the keyboard part on “I” adds to the sense of pathos, while the keyboards on “IV” were particularly powerful.

Both Astargh and Helg produce some great guitar work on the album. The fuzzed-out riffs on “III” reminded me of black-metal-era BURZUM. The pause before the musical climax on this track makes things more powerful, and the distant riffs reminded me of sad wraiths whose names no one remembers. The bubbling riffs on “IV” are full of melancholy, and there were some great guitar harmonies and “musical echoes” (not reverb, but in the guitar phrasing) on this track as well.

Another musical highlight for me was the unexpected bagpipe part on “V”. It’s an effective addition, and the harmonies were done well too. The whole track is one of the stand-out moments of the album, from the powerful vocals backed by a soaring keyboard part, to the rich bass and the cool slides which transition the song into the next phase. The production on the album allows for all the parts to shine, and I thought that the production was done well throughout the rest of the album as well.  This album is very good beginning for GREYABLAZE. While it’s always good for a band to strive to reach new artistic heights, GREYABLAZE has certainly given themselves a strong foundation from which to launch future material. May they continue to craft enchanting soundscapes.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
Lineup:
Astargh – Guitars, Bass, Vocals and Keyboards
Odalv – Drums
Helg – Guitars
Record Label: Ashen Dominion
     


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