"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Grey Skies Fallen - "The Many Sides of Truth" (CD)

Grey Skies Fallen - "The Many Sides of Truth" CD cover image

"The Many Sides of Truth" track listing:

1. Ritual of the Exiter
2. Unroot Transparent Being
3. The Flame
4. Of the Ancients
5. Isolation Point
6. End of My Rope
7. Winter Hand

Reviewed by on June 6, 2014

"There are feelings of aggression, depression, and a sense of calm. The band builds, breaks down, and builds again in the fashion of a symphony."

Grey Skies Fallen is one of those groups which truly defies generalization of style. If I were to place a genre tag on the group it would be progressive, as each song on "The Many Sides of Truth," the New York band's fourth full-length, undertakes metamorphosis. While there are segments of the album one could compare to progressive bands like Dream Theater and Yes, the extreme compositions have more in common with My Dying Bride, Novembers Doom, and Dimmu Borgir. They are progressive in the fact that a full listen reveals aspects of black, death, and doom metal.

"The Many Sides of Truth" thrives on emotive-driven atmosphere. There are feelings of aggression, depression, and a sense of calm. The band builds, breaks down, and builds again in the fashion of a symphony. Speaking of symphonies, the band brought in a trio of string players including a cellist, violinist, and viola player and these strings play best on our heart strings. "Of The Ancients" features ominous piano keys and a clean voice to match. Around the 2:20 mark the band finds its death-doom mark with growled vocals and the slow burn of a violin bow. A few seconds elapse before clean vocals arrive back in the mix before intertwining with a chorus of harsh voices--deep roars and pain-filled screams.

"End of My Rope," a personal favorite, shows the band at its most anguished point. This track begins slowly, with separated bass chords and a swelling synth which opens to a ringing guitar dirge. Vocals alternate verse lines with the chorus "waiting at the end of my rope" and the song's words come through with magnificent, desperate force. Around the 3-minute mark the song hits bottom like a stark realization that the character in the song is at the end of his rope. However, then the frustration melts away as keys climb back into the fold. An impassioned voice sung to swelling keys leave this track on a hopeful note.

As far as sounding "progressive," the band achieves this in the keyboards, which help lead each song in a different direction. The chiming sounds of instrumental "Uproot Transparent Being" relate a Middle Eastern feel, one that isn't out of place considering some of the band's philosophical lyrics. There is a cosmic undercurrent that hits midway through the song reminiscent of the opening credits on "Doctor Who." Another instrumental, "Isolation Point," includes soothing, meditative distortion-less guitar. "The Flame" is one of the best examples of the band's dichotomy. This track opens with repeated notes of a blackened nature that take a fall into placidity near the end of the track.

With "The Many Sides of Truth," Grey Skies Fallen created an album rich in texture and atmosphere. Like a novel, the album rises and falls with great efficacy. The only downside to this album is the amount of instrumentals. These seem a bit like filler, even though each track is solid, because without them there are only four tracks on the album. This is by no means, though, a reason to put it back on the shelf.

Highs: The progressive compositions and atmosphere.

Lows: Three of the seven songs are instrumentals, which seems like filler.

Bottom line: A solid work of extreme progressive music.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)