All We Destroy

Profound Lore (2011)
Από τον Βαγγέλη Ευαγγελάτο, 15/03/2013
"All We Destroy" is a perfectly complete album, a true masterpiece from a band that defies labels, extends boundaries and dares to create unprecedented original music
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Sometimes words seem inadequate when they must describe a true work of art. I understand that the use of this phrase / cliché as an introduction to this text isn't flattering for me as a reviewer, but in Grayceon's case it seems entirely valid. How can one explain such an indeterminate sound? How can someone break something so solid into raw materials? How can you make comparisons when you are coming face to face with such authenticity?

Most of you may not even know the band from San Francisco and the truth is that in their six years of existence their level of recognition has not been satisfactory enough, the main reason for this probably being their extremely vague and difficult-to-digest style. Among the three members, the title of most illustrious one is held by Jackie Perez Gratz, with her significant participation in Amber Asylum and, more recently, Giant Squid, being great examples of the recognition of her talent. Still, appearances on albums of Agalloch, Neurosis, Today Is The Day, Cattle Decapitation, Asunder, Ludicra and (soon) Om, among others, further strengthen her status. On the other hand, the extracurricular activity of Max Doyle and Zack Farwell, who complete the triad, is limited to the -not well known thrash band- Walken.

Getting to the point, "All We Destroy" is the band's third album and the first below the wing of Canadian record company, Profound Lore. The fundamental principles that were born in Grayceon's eponymous debut and then forged at the excellent "This Grand Show", ranked them in the broader progressive rock / metal field, through some post rock mutations and fitting indolence moods. All these remain here as well, as the personality and the uniqueness of their sound is consolidating. Cello, guitar and drums compose a triptych sufficiently able to capture their restless spirit, while Gratz’s vocals are entirely displacing those of Doyle, while at the same time gaining greater weight within the compositions.

From the introductory doom strides of "Dreamer Deceived" to the haunted lullaby of "War's End" that concludes the album 50 minutes later, Grayceon are experimenting with everything, showcasing an impressive wide range of influences and an amazing ability to absorb them. Folklore sounds blend together with jazz's flexibility, sludge is beautifully confused with classic sounds, and even some rhythmic death metal explosions disrupt periodically the calm logic of post metal. And all these can happen in only one track, such as central seventeen-minute-long "We Can", -the most representative and perhaps album’s finest-"Shellmounds" or the frighteningly furious "A Road Less Traveled".

Unconventional, complex, a dream and a nightmare at the same time, "All We Destroy" is a perfectly complete album, a true masterpiece from a band that defies labels, extends boundaries and dares to create unprecedented original music. Those who are interested can listen to the whole album at the band's Bandcamp page, and the ones that will explore them further are about to grant themselves with one of the year’s most special and unique albums.