Greyswan - _Promo 2001_
by: Brian Meloon (4 out of 5)
This is the second demo from Italy's Greyswan, and it features three moderate length (6 to 8 minute) songs of melancholic gothic doom/rock/metal. The closest comparison I can come up with would be Novembre, though they're probably more similar to Katatonia (who I'm only vaguely familiar with). The music is generally slow-to-mid-tempo gothic rock, with a doomy metal edge. They show a good understanding of how to subtly change their riffs to avoid things from getting too repetitive. Yet, this is still quite simple music, with each song based upon only a few basic melodic ideas. Most of these ideas seem to consist of dual-layered, lightly distorted single-note guitar lines, though they do some light riffing here and there as well. They also throw in some clean guitars and some very light keyboards (light enough that I missed them the first couple times I spun this disc). The playing is quite good, though by no means challenging. The production is adequate, though not exceptional. All the instruments are clearly audible, and the somewhat muffled guitar sound actually helps to create a gloomier feel. One minor point they could improve upon is the vocals. It's not that the vocals are particularly bad; in fact, their vocalist has a pretty good and expressive voice. However, I think he over-sings most of the time; his vocals are more assertive than they should be. I think that a smoother, more laid-back delivery -- like the clean vocals of Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) or Carmelo Orlando (Novembre) -- would fit the mood of the music better. Still, this is a very good release and should appeal to fans of Novembre and Katatonia. While they still need a little polishing, this demo is good enough for them to draw some label attention.


(article published 31/3/2003)

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