This Grand Show

Jackie Perez Gratz (Amber Asylum) and her two pals, Max Doyle and Zack Farwell (of skaterock band Walken) have returned to give us yet another stunning record that, like its debut will be in the running for album of the year.

Stylistically, not much has changed in the Grayceon camp. They still play a dreamy, eclectic mix of cello driven post rock thrash mix that comes across like Apocalyptica, Neurosis and Metallica capped off with a Nyquil fueled lullaby. The sense of desolate beauty and artistic, ambitious catharsis that swells in Grayceon’s sound is one that truly should be experienced in a near sleep daze where Gratz’s angelic cellos and voice can carry you of to pillowy soft realms. Only to be awoken be stern thrash rumblings and progressive, angular riffage.

Starting with the perfectly paced, mood setting instrumental opener “It Begins, and So it Begins” the aptly titled This Grand Show launches into just under an hour of blissfully elegant music that’s reeks of lovelorn despondency and ethereal eloquence yet somehow soothes the soul. The album’s most direct “Still the Desert” lurches with a saddened mope, then unleashes a surprisingly harsh, mid song thrash it up and even some pained screams. Then, there is the 21-minute album centerpiece, “Sleep”-talk about aptly named, and not in a bad way. First the delicate opening moments and vocal will lull you into a coma, then what I can only term a beautiful blast beat before song’s extended midsection foray that will have you a trancelike, out of body state, having dreams of whale song, clouds, seal cubs and Victoria’s Secret models with angel wings. Then, the song climaxes with Gratz singing you to sleep while telling you not to close your eyes; a tall order indeed. Where most long ambient segues could be termed pretentious, Gratz and co deliver it with such artful elegance and deeply ethereal sense of exquisite melancholy, it’s truly mesmerizing.

“Love (Is a Dream)” has a tall order to follow, but comes across as the most personal and emotive of all Grayceon’s material with a rending grace and morose magnificence and the song’s deft shifts at 6:30 and 10:00 from cello filled ballad to full on thrash are just perfect. Structurally, closer, “This Grand Show Is Eternal” could be a shorter Metallica instrumental from their Master of Puppets era laced with female croons, and it’s a perfect, more uplifting endnote for the album.

This Grand Show is more than an ample follow up to the superb debut. It’s a deeper more personal album littered with the same strains of musical brilliance and artistry and will no doubt end up, like the debut, high on my year end list.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 10th, 2008


  1. Commented by: STIFFY

    See. Jerked it all over this one, didn’t you?

  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Yup. Interview with jackie in the works too. More jerkage i imagine-shes a sweetheart LOL.

  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    She’s hot and talented. Jerkage ensues!! XD

  4. Commented by: bast

    “This Grand Show is more than an ample follow up to the superb debut”, SOLD.

  5. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I’m not crazy about the vocals, but overall, this is such a great album. Intelligent Metal does exist! Superb musicianship abounds with great songs and much better production than on their debut. An interesting combination of instruments doesn’t always make a great album, but here, it creates a unique quality throughout.

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