Album Review: IV by Grayceon

Man, it looks like I’m starting to review some “serious” music now. Serious music… isn’t that funny? What’s actually the difference between serious music and every other kind of music? If I was reviewing a “3 chords and the truth” type punk rock record, would I necessarily qualify it as “serious” music? I mean, probably not. But, is the musicianship and the message of the music “serious”? Probably. So, why am I calling Grayceon’s fourth effort “serious”? Probably because of the musical concepts, themes, and instruments (aka cello) incorporated that im too “dumb” to comprehend… but is that taking away the seriousness from all other music? I certainly hope not and that is far from my intention here. In fact, my intention here is to address the issue of labeling music. You know, you could simply say Grayceon is progressive… ok. That’s acceptable. So is Between the Buried and Me, Periphery, and Dream Theater. But on the other hand, so is Rush, Yes, and to a certain extent, Iron Maiden, right? Where do we draw the line? Or better yet, where do we blur the line where one genre ends and the other begins? Technically, I would describe Grayceon, having never heard them before this record, mind you; as “progressive classical stoner doom metal.” But, what the hell does that even mean? Well, I guess you’ll just have to listen to the record to find out… and that what be what makes it SO fucking interesting.

    Hailing from the sunshine in San Fransisco, Grayceon have been releasing everything but sunshine for the past TWELEVE (where the hell have I been?!) years. Why it took me until now to discover them, I have no idea. But im not complaining. Better late than never, as they say. But, don’t worry, if you’re like me, and never had the pleasure in indulging in the pleasures this trio has to offer; you don’t NEED any prerequisites of their material to enjoy this masterpiece of an album. Yeah, I said that shit. Masterpiece of an album. Its really that good… and so is all their other shit, for that matter. But, for my money, IV is the pinnacle of their discography and Im dying to see where they will go from here.

    I almost feel like giving a little track-by-track breakdown of this record world be a little remiss, as they’re all so different (for the most part) and deserve to be listened to within the context of the entire album. Cherrypicking the most popular or even random songs sometimes works for records, but not this one. IV is a complete piece of art full of heavens, hells, zigs, and zags, that’ll take you on a musical experience you’ll likely want to revisit for a while. That being said, I reserve this record for music fans/appreciators/lovers only. Not that we are the only people who will enjoy it, but try giving this to a a casual Metallica fan to get them into different styles of metal, and I don’t see that working out for you too well.. let a lone a pop music fan. But, fuck them, right? Nooooo.. just kidding… kind of. Who needs ‘em? Seriously, not trying to take the easy way out of this review, BUT, its an eight song, fourty-minute record… please just listen to it. You’ll KNOW what I mean. I hope!!

    No, “SERIOUSLY,” this is an incredible record. Im hard pressed to even call it “metal” all though their are certainly sweet riffs, doomy drums, and a few growls and scream throughout. But that is not to go without its beyond fair share of beautiful classical music and clean singing with a, dare I say, glimmers if posiitivity, throughout as well? Just fascinating, wonderful musicianship. You might not be in the mood for it everyday, but put Grayceon, and specifically this album, IV, on your list. God Bless.

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