Release DetailsLABEL Blackout Records
RELEASED ON 9/27/2005
A Few Easy Steps To Ensure Heli-Camel Safety
posted on 11/2005 By:
Grace Gale is the latest entrant into the increasingly crowded screamo meets metal genre. Like their contemporaries Fall Of Troy, Chiodos and He Is Legend, they employ a chaotic, purposely quirky songwriting style rife with unpredictable tempos punctuated by incessant glam-like lead guitar riffs. Where they differ is in their commitment to the metal side of the equation. Rather than merely flirt with the occasional breakdown they throw in a double bass fill every once in awhile like many of their screamo brethren, the bulk of the music here falls squarely in the metalcore camp. Thankfully this is not generic metalcore.
There’s many, many breakdowns found individually in the songs but these are pieced together in a challenging blend of alternating speeds and an almost dizzying array of solos/lead guitar work. Not one to rest on their laurels, almost every song has some little oddity, like girly backup vocals, new wave hand claps or excessive cowbell (Christopher Walken would be proud!), thrown in for good measure. Sometimes this totally works, like the girly backup vocals, and other times it falls a little flat, like the cowbell, (sorry Mr. Walken). This almost directionless approach can be a little disorienting but, like a Six Flags rollercoaster, at the end of the ride you’re all smiles.
Another area where they up the metal ante are the vocals. Despite being fairly high-register, the vocals are often sung in a scathing, throat ripping style that should please people that are usually put off by the whiny emo vocals that often cause you to wince when listening to some of the aforementioned bands.
It’s not all roses though. One complaint I have is the overall guitar sound. Although somewhat beefy, it’s a little too compressed so the breakdowns sound a little flat and no where near as punishing as any legit metalcore band. Another area where they fall short is in their technical ability. You can hear that these guys are as ambitious as their peers, penning ultra-complex songs that are impossible to predict on first listen, but sometimes you can literally hear them falling apart at the seams. The drummer can’t quite keep up or one of the guitarists mangles one of the leads. It’s a shame these songs sometimes outstrip the band's ability to play them but I’m sure they’ll iron out the kinks in later releases and hopefully add some muscle to the guitars.
Minor gripes aside, I think these guys have to put together a pretty solid debut. Not quite ready for the big leagues yet but I can easily see them doing some great things in the future.
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