Review Summary: The Death Of Greeley Estates shows that there must be an afterlife.
Greeley Estates are a band that are overshadowed by their lesser talented peers, fading away slowly, which is a shame. Greeley Estates are a metalcore band with a difference, they play emotional music without the over-abundance of breakdowns; evolving every album, embracing new sounds and experimenting outside their comfort zone. What the metalcore genre lacks is a sense of freshness, there are so many bands it’s hard to differentiate one from the other; at first you could tell the bands apart due to their vocal range, then due to their instrumental capability and then came the synths. With every change or extension to this dead-beat genre came an overwhelming amount of bands which still are prevalent today. Amongst the masses lays Greeley estates, who present their fifth album: The Death Of Greeley Estates, which is a breath-taking emotional journey becoming their best-work yet.
Vocally, Greeley has always been known due to Ryan’s signature howls, screeches and recently his more aggressive approach with effortless growls/gutturals (due to No Rain, No Rainbow). Not only can he scream extremely well but he can sing. He possesses a strong set of lungs, allowing him to reach highs that are melodic, eerie and more importantly, passionate. His screams are diverse and unique; they’re symmetrical to the tone of his singing, also embodying a similar power. His singing is also great. Although it isn’t for everyone, some may find him ‘whiny’, especially within his higher octave. With that being said, Ryan is by far one of the most versatile, brilliant vocalists in the scene to date putting many others to shame.
Musically, TDOGE is experimental and well-structured, showing that you don’t need to rely on breakdowns to capture an audience. There are instances on the record that are fast-paced containing thrash-esque riffs to more slow paced, mellow melodies. The guitars sound raw but polished emphasised to get your attention and to maintain that grip. The drumming is just as strong, it’s fast-paced, heavy hitting and relentless representing the heavy, at times chaotic nature of TDOGE. Here and there Greeley dabble with electronics to enhance the atmosphere of individual songs and the overall album (the interludes portray a sense of brokenness, a delicate yet welcoming feeling). The electronics generally sit in the background of the music, only coming forward at climatic moments releasing that extra bit of quality to the music. Not only are Greeley known for being more than competent instrumentally, they’re also known for their catchy, sharp song-writing. TDOGE is a dark record and the lyrics are written well, from a tale of domestic violence to losing and questioning faith in God. There are positive undertones in some songs, this album is by no means macabre but it definitely carries an emotional weight with it which animates the music more.
The Death Of Greeley Estates' sound is a combination of Go West…, No Rain and Far from The Lies creating a well-crafted album. At its foundation the record is heavy, persevering for the entire adventure, despite this there are moments of relief; whether it is an electronic injection splashed with altered vocals to soft, haunting harmonies with frenzied instruments.
The fact of the matter is The Death Of Greeley Estates offers something for everyone and it doesn’t disappoint. Greeley Estates have released an album that surpasses their peers and themselves, from beautiful vocals to bone-crushing guitar work; this album encompasses everything a band should be, a group of individuals who wish to evolve and to do so with finesse and diligence. Greeley have acknowledged their roots crafting a piece of art. There are a few hit and misses here and there mainly minor, such as the run-time is a bit too long and not everyone will enjoy all fifteen tracks. Yet for me, The Death Of Greeley Estates is a journey of emotion and musical excellence.