The Banner
Greying


4.5
superb

Review

by cryptside USER (76 Reviews)
December 21st, 2014 | 80 replies


Release Date: 12/09/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Banner want to show you their ugly side.

I have a tendency to enjoy bands that have a darker sound to them regardless of genre. There is this inherent desire for me to hear others cry out from their particular place of isolation. The funny thing (or perhaps it's not funny at all) is that I haven't quite decided yet if it's because I enjoy knowing that I'm not the only one who fights depression, or because I can soak in someone else's insecurities and darkness and ignore my own for a short time. Greying is desperate, despondent, and darker than any other album I've heard this year. More than anything else, The Banner want to show you their ugly side; tortured screams, hints of black metal and post punk (of all things) melded seamlessly to hardcore, and spastic tempo shifts help to make Greying one of the most memorable and unique albums of 2014. Member changes and a brief break-up of the band haven't necessarily changed the band's sound at all, but rather bolstered the unique songwriting and allowed them to progress even further with it.

The repeated, wounded screams of "It never/gets better" at the end of "Circle of Salt" give a fair idea of what to expect throughout the album. There is a bare, primal honesty that almost makes this uncomfortable to listen to, especially in the excellent track "Unbaptized". The unhinged guitar-squealing solo that appears at the end of the song absolutely steals the show despite the revealing lyricism. The desolation portrayed in "Sunlight" is a bit jarring at first. Creeping distortion and instruments relegated to the background suit the haunted clean vocals quite well, but after the exercises in heaviness that are the first two tracks it's a fairly unexpected turn. However, as Greying continues on, the tempo changes and post punk influences just become one more way that the album distinguishes itself from its peers. In fact, without the post punk this album would suffer from a lack of variety; because of the songwriting variables that The Banner have to work with, the hardcore elements are welcome and fresh-sounding. Eleven tracks that all sounded like the fast-paced "Crippled Despair" probably would have blended together and seemed formulaic, but armed with myriads of ways to express the bleak tone this album is anything but predictable. Instrumental track "Bones to Dust" is a prime example of this, throwing a blues sound into the mix that elevates the record even further.

When melodic hardcore band Manners released Pale Blue Light in January of this year, I was astounded at the personal lyricism and the multitude of ways that they expressed such a dark atmosphere while still making it listener-friendly. It only makes sense that The Banner completes the bookend in December with this album (though there are disparate differences in the styles here). Greying is an incredibly unique album that personifies depression; not just by the lyrics that demand to be heard, but also by that inarticulate and incessant void that I feel sometimes myself. The Banner have created an album that helps me to get up and be angry about it for forty-plus minutes, and sometimes that is more productive than any other self-help strategy I've ever tried. By the time "Sunset" comes on, my blood is pumping and the adrenaline is helping me to understand how alive I really am; I am as excited for my future as I am for The Banner's future output.



Recent reviews by this author
Eluvium Curious ThingsYoung Thug Slime Season 3
Mac Miller GO:OD AMMac Miller DELUSIONAL THOMAS
The Magic Lightnin' Boys The Magic Lightnin' BoysBlood Gemini Snow Season
user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So yeah, I love this album and hate myself for discovering it after I had finished my year end list. This is

amazing and everyone should listen. I'm pretty happy with this review, hope to get some feedback on it.



http://goodfightent.bandcamp.com/album/greying

Artuma
December 21st 2014


30109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:]

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whoo, glad to see you like the album! :]

Artuma
December 21st 2014


30109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

of course i like this dude album ruuuuuules and yes everyone check this

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album ruuuuuules and yes everyone check this [2]

SharkTooth
December 21st 2014


13952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm kinda nit picky when it comes to feedback, so prepare for a lot of grammar related stuff:



"I have a tendency to enjoy bands that have a darker sound to them. Regardless of genre, there is this inherent desire for

me to hear others cry out from their particular place of isolation."


I'd get rid of the period after "them" and replace the comma after "genre" with a period. Also, put an "s" after "place"

"The funny thing is (or perhaps it's not funny at all) that I haven't quite decided yet if it's because I enjoy knowing that I'm not

the only one that fights depression, or because I can soak in someone else's insecurities and darkness and ignore my own for

a short time."


replace "that" with who

"post punk (of all things)"

Post punk isn't really a dark genre, why, you may ask? Basically think any band with strong ties to 80's new-wave(Talking

Heads, Oingo Boingo, DEVO, etc.) they're all post punk.



That's the biggest stuff I could find really, great review man!

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome feedback man, thank you so much! I made the changes, all except for the whole "post punk (of all things)". That bit was meant as a comment on how out of place that influence should seem (because I tend to agree with you on whole 80's new wave thing).

SharkTooth
December 21st 2014


13952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No prob mate! You yourself have been great with feedback on my reviews(=

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I definitely appreciate it. Idk if this would be up your alley, but you should definitely give this a listen. It's really dynamic.

ComeToDaddy
December 21st 2014


1787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really great review man, this sounds like exactly the sort of thing I'd love so I'll definitely check it out. No major issues with the review, just more minor nitpicky stuff to add on to SharkTooth's feedback. Still definitely a pos though!



The repeated, wounded screams of "It never/gets better" at the end of "Circle of Salt" gives a fair idea



Start of paragraph 2. Should be give, since "screams" is plural.



but armed with myriad ways



End of paragraph 2. Myriad is a real tricky word to use. If you use it to term countless, you have to pluralize it, making this sentence "armed with myriads of ways". Alternatively, used as a specific large number, it would be "armed with a myriad ways".



...they expressed such a dark atmosphere but still made it listener-friendly



Start of paragraph 3. On the end of such a long sentence, changing this to "while still making it listener-friendly" would make it flow much better. The "but" feels really clunky in that spot

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome CtD, thanks for the constructive criticism. That's stuff that I honestly wouldn't have picked out myself even if I read over it a million times. I appreciate it, and definitely let me know what you think of this.

ComeToDaddy
December 21st 2014


1787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Another small note, you want to add the bandcamp location to your first comment so people can access it quickly and easily? It wasn't exactly trouble to google it, but it's a nice habit to get in to (:



http://goodfightent.bandcamp.com/album/greying

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah, good thinking man. I generally do that for artists that don't have a whole lot of fans, but I always neglect well-established bands. Edited!

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
December 21st 2014


6681 Comments


review looks solid man, pos. will give a proper read later as well as some feedback

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks dude! I look forward to it.

DoctorDoom
December 21st 2014


2987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This band has come a long way, really good record.

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed, DD. It's been cool to watch how they've progressed.

SharkTooth
December 21st 2014


13952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm picking up Neuosis vibes from this, really digging it!

DoctorDoom
December 21st 2014


2987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Neurosis + Integrity vibes = a good time. A far way from Your Murder Mixtape. Both rule but for very different reasons.

cryptside
December 21st 2014


2397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad to hear it!! I didn't pick up on those myself, will have to keep that in mind.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy