Grayceon & Subrosa
Both of these albums came out today on Profound Lore, which, considering they released two of the best albums of 2010, Agalloch & Ludicra, is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels. Both albums follow a similar vein as those other bands: atmospheric, melodic, folk infested doom. Both bands feature female vocals and both bands feature strings. Grayceon has a cello, played by Jackie Perez Gratz, who happened to compose and play all of the cello parts on “Marrow of the Spirit”, Agalloch’s latest release. She has also played with Om, Neurosis, Amber Asylum, and is also a member of Giant Squid. Subrosa features two violins complimenting the guitar.
As I said, both albums come from similar places, but each is completely unique in their execution. Musically, Grayceon strike a balance between heavy doom, neo-classical chamber music and traditional folk to forge a solid slab of gothic Americana styled metal. While the guitars are prominent, it’s the cello that really pulls the music along, weaving the strings in and out of the rhythms. Vocally, its features mostly clean vocals, sometimes sung, sometimes chanted, but always captivating.
Subrosa, on the other hand deliver a guitar fueled attack that is accented by the dual violins. The vocals are somewhat monotone but blend with the music, created an ethereal, dark and atmospheric sound. Where Grayceon have a sound more rooted in classical, Subrosa are rooted in a stoner doom vibe. I know dropping the “stoner” tag immediately conjures up images of potheads jamming in a haze of smoke, but that’s not what we have here, this is intelligent music that deserves to be heard, similar in vibe to Blackmath Horseman & Ancestors.