Review Summary: Featuring members of Austere and Woods Of Desolation, Grey Waters plays an interesting offshoot of dark melodic rock and metal.
Grey Waters is a depressive, melodic rock band from Australia. Featuring Tim from Woods Of Desolation and D. from Austere, this is certainly a change of pace from the aggressive black metal sound that both of these guys are accustomed to playing. Unlike their previous bands, Grey Waters is characterized by mid tempo riffs, somber keyboard/guitar melodies and cleanly sung vocals. Like their previous bands, the depressive element remains at the top of their priorities. Sounding like a mixture of mid to late 90’s Katatonia, Amesoeurs, Sentenced and a bit of indie/post-rock thrown in for good measure, “Below The Ever Setting Sun” is certainly an adventurous undertaking for these two black metal musicians.
As their first official release in the four years of formation, Grey Waters deliver a promising five track EP that blurs the lines between metal and rock. Barring a few musical surprises, Below The Ever Setting Sun is pretty much orthodox in sound and structure to the school of Katatonia. Emotive vocals, doomy riffs and atmospheric keyboards galore. But what they lack in originality is quickly made up in spades by talented songwriting and powerful melodies.
The two man crew have split up musical duties. D is responsible for the bass and the guitars while Tim provides the percussion, keys and vocals. Starting in alphabetical order. It’s clear D. worships at the altar of Nystrom. Much of his compositions are based on the same dark, melodic templates that Nystrom utilizes in Katatonia. And in doing so, D replicates the same kind of moodiness you hear on Brave Murder Day. The rhythm guitar on the other hand is much hookier and upbeat while still providing a dose of level 4 heaviness. Also worth mentioning is how in some tracks, “Broken”, “The Truth In Your Eyes”, a moderate post-rock influence can be felt. This along side the orchestral bridge of the latter track add some dimension to the music. Bass wise, D’s performance is less impressive. Mostly drowned out by all the riffing and keyboards, the general bass tone comes off as underwhelming.
Vocally, Tim boast some similarities to Jonas Renske albeit not sharing the same level of passion or strength. Nitpicking aside, Tim’s clean voice gels perfectly with the guitars and keyboards. At some points of the EP Tim loses some gusto, but for the most part delivers an adequate performance. Opening track “Say Goodbye” even features some harsh vocals. If you’re familiar with the tortured howling of Austere, you know what to expect. Keyboards are present but are generally just used to overlap the riffs and percussion. Aside from the opening piano sequence that is. Drumming is handled well in a relatively safe format. Mostly just fiddling around with the same tempo, Tim’s rhythmic style of play comes off sounding enthusiastic and inspired. Loud kick drums, drum fill this, drum fill that. All that jazz basically.
The only complaints one might find with this EP is the lack of originality and the vocals. Singing is of the questionable variety, although if you dig the guy from Ikuinen Kaamos I don’t think you’ll have any problem here. Hipsters looking for the most unique music out there will be disappointed but just about anyone else should find something to like in this quaint little EP. Coming in at five tracks and twenty one minutes, this is more of an appetizer Than a full meal. For fans of Riverside, Amesoeurs, Katatonia or any other kind of dark, melodic, riff oriented band.