Grayceon
All We Destroy

For over four years now, Jackie Perez Gratz has declined my romantic overtures and while her restraining order against me prevents physical contact within 100ft, I’m still allowed to review her band’s albums.

I’m kidding.

It’s 200 ft.

So here is album number three from vocalist/cellist Gratz and her two compadres Zach Farewell (drums) and Max Doyle (guitars and vocals), and while it follows the template of cello fronted and progressive, experimental post-rock lullabies, this appears to be even more of a step towards actual metal and dare I say, at times, an even more aggressive stance.

Not that Grayceon haven’t had bursts of metal in their music in the past, as both This Grand Show and the self-titled debut showed at numerous times, but on All We Destroy, it’s much more chaotic and common place and even Ms. Gratz herself gets more feral with some blackened shrieks here and there (“Dreamer Deceived”, “Shellmounds”, “Once a Shadow” for example).

Of course, the mainstay of Grayceon’s sound is still an smooth and hypnotic form of poetic, dreamy music that could appeal to Neurosis as well as Apocalyptica and of course Amber Asylum. But with the sterner vocal fits here and there and the injections of more direct thrashy metal, the appeal has been broadened or lessened depending on what you thought of Grayceon already. The blend is perfect though, as and with the cover art there’s a gritty, psychedelic elegance to the whole thing.

The dichotomy of Grayceon’s sound is encapsulated in opener “Dreamer Decieved” where the songs languid lurch is layered by Gratz’s sultry croons and screams- making for a strange but mesmerizing mix of relaxing and disturbing moods. “Shellmounds” initially starts as another slow burner, but cranks out some discordant cello back thrash and a very nice little minimalist cello backed blast beat. The album’s longest track, “We Can”, is not an Obama rallying cry, but it is the album’s centerpiece at 17-minutes or so. It’s a much more typical, epic and rangy alluring Grayceon track, though its mid-section takes a more confrontational prose. “Once A Shadow” is a steady, sultry track before Gratz unleashes “A Road Less Travelled”, arguably the band’s most primal track; at only four minutes or so long, it explodes into a surprisingly violent track about halfway through after Gratz lures you in with her delicate tones.

Thankfully, Grayceon end the album on a more conventional, relaxing and familiar note with “War’s End” and brief, hypnotic lullaby that lulls me off to a peaceful sleep full of dreams of short brunette bob haircuts, cellos and yet another fantastic Grayceon album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 20th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Legumbrera

    Great album!Great Review!


  2. Commented by: shane

    Jizzed all over this one didn’t ya, Thomas.


  3. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    I agree with you about Jackie [we used to swim at the same pool in SF; god that was torture]. But this album: I should love this band given their influences, but the songwriting just isn’t there for me.


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