Grayceon - "All We Destroy" (CD)
"All We Destroy" track listing:
1. Dreamer Deceived
3. We Can
4. Once A Shadow
5. A Road Less Traveled
6. War's End
Reviewed by The_Avant_Garde on March 15, 2011
Very few bands have released a complete discography of consistently high quality records like Grayceon. Each album from the San Francisco post-rock/progressive metal trio has been nothing short of a masterpiece with each one building off the foundation laid by its predecessor. On the band’s third full-length release “All We Destroy,” and first for its new label home Profound Lore, the band introduces many new elements that take Grayceon’s brand of cello metal to all new levels.
While its self-titled debut was mostly a laid-back affair, and its sophomore release “This Grand Show” adding in more elements of metal, it was only inevitable that “All We Destroy” would be a perfect combination of the band’s previous works. Not only does “All We Destroy” blend the soft and smooth cello passages with a heavier guitar chunk so effortlessly, but it also manages to incorporate new sounds such as finger-picked acoustics, blast-beat drumming, and something a bit shocking for such a band; growled vocals. The new stylistic elements work perfectly together on the album though and nothing seems out of place and overused.
From the first few seconds of album opener “Dreamer Deceived” Grayceon’s new song writing additions come into play, beginning with the band’s new harsh vocal style. While it’s eerie, clean signing dual-vocal approach is still the mainstay on “All We Destroy,” the short moments on harsh vocals really add a new atmosphere to Grayceon’s already magnificent compositions. On “Shellmounds” the band utilizes pure blast-beat drumming for the first time and it works so well. It’s safe to say that every track on the album is special in its own unique way.
While the album is shorter than others it also features another monster track in “We Can,” which clocks in at an impressive seventeen minutes. With the band’s past two full-length albums containing one song each that goes beyond the twenty-minute mark, “We Can” is refreshingly interesting throughout, maintaining its charm while moving through moments of tranquil clarity and bone-jarring brutality and is worthy of more than a few repeated listens.
While the term “Cello-Metal” has come to represent a mostly pretentious group of hard-rockers, Grayceon is a band that uses the cello with pride, both in its acoustic and electric forms to create beautiful works of art. “All We Destroy” is yet another incredible album from the trio that will surely be a contender for album of the year.
Highs: New additions to the band's songwriting make "All We Destroy" the essential Grayceon album.
Lows: Could have used a few more short moments of the harsh vocal style.
Bottom line: Incredible progressive cello metal from a band that has mastered the genre.
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