Grey Skies Fallen - _Two Way Mirror_
(Independent, 2006)
by: T. DePalma (3 out of 10)
New York's Grey Skies Fallen have done their share of struggling through the dilapidated East Coast scene, pursuing their craft through a filter of European doom constructs for nearly ten years. Now it seems they've turned to softer, more commercial music, ostensibly shadowing the progression of marquee acts like Sweden's Katatonia.

_Two Way Mirror_ sees the group adopting a more pop atmosphere, almost constantly at odds with their skill in prior focus (these tracks being written during what they call "the lost years"). With poor assumptions of The Beatles and Sonic Youth used in swaying, easy-chair ballads, the album feels confused and wanting, blending guitar slides, synthesizers and moody piano with emotional sincerity as the highest value. (This is terminally put forth in the clean but unnatural vocals -- already forced but, on at least one occasion, filtered through a talk box for good measure.)

There are touches approaching metal here and there; songs gradually exit from their schmaltzy verses into amped up melodies and vocal growls, but the contrast is superficial and the sum of the album's tracks is too tentative to deliver anything truly distinct or powerful. Grey Skies Fallen attempt to break from convention, but unfortunately retreat into mainstream fluff that may or may not find its place within the sensitive metal generation.

"Two Way Mirror" also contains a twenty-minute "making of" documentary encoded onto the disc. Although it offers plenty of descriptions of the group's new direction, with moments of creative tussling in the studio, there is little to learn or witness regarding the band themselves or the meaning behind these tracks. I'm not sure exactly who it's made for, feeling too much like a petition for credit, which better judgment should have denied a public release.


(article published 2/5/2006)

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