Greyhaven
Empty Black


4.5
superb

Review

by Tranqyl USER (8 Reviews)
March 19th, 2018 | 663 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Yeah, I repent in style."

The guitars kick into motion and propel me forward as the icy winds outside of my highschool take turns chewing at my neck and ears. With my earphones in, I am completely blown away by Keith Buckley’s screams and I groove with the cynical, southern intensity that is brought forecenter. At this point it’s mostly obvious that I’m talking about a different record - I’m talking about Every Time I Die’s masterpiece of an album Low Teens. This isn’t by mistake at all though. Greyhaven’s new LP Empty Black reminds me of everything good that really hit home with the release of Low Teens. During that lonely and frigid winter of senior year, where everyone seemed to be planning their departure, Keith Buckley’s angry apathy (and a lot of cheap beer) kept me company. One listen of Empty Black and major connections to Every Time I Die can be drawn, but the true power of Empty Black is that it channels the elements that made Low Teens so great, yet has a sonically expansive and bitingly witty sound that is all its own.

Empty Black jams into the fray with a phenomenal opening track in the form of Sweet Machine. A track that actually manages to feel influenced by progressive rock in its strong tonal shifts, but keeps the motion propelling it forward and successfully blurs the lines between three distinct sounds in one song. From there, Blemish picks up the intensity and carries it all the way into Echo and Dust Pt. I which again blurs the boundaries between dreamy choruses and chuggy, aggressive riffs. Mortality Rate is probably the most ETID sounding track on the whole album with its distinctly southern styled guitar grooving and playful lyrics that never seem too preachy. Clearing through that, the listener enters into Ten Dogs - Red Heaven which has an interesting aesthetic that strikes me as both soaring and grungy at times. It leaves a distinct impact and has personally one of the coolest song names I’ve heard in awhile. If there was a time to take the foot off the gas pedal, Greyhaven masterfully do so with White Lighters and offer to play with those hazy, more introspective elements. Immediately after, the listener is violently thrust back into the heaviness with Kappa (River Child) before Greyhaven blend their hazy and melodic approach with jarring violence in Day is Gone. Broadcast Network picks up the fun aggression again before easing into the final track. Echo and Dust Pt. II is an all around beautiful song and it perfectly encapsulates everything that the album has demonstrated before it, while also taking an almost poetic look at the concept of change. As the guitars begin to slowly fade out, you’re left desperately hoping to restart your journey through the album again.

There are essentially no qualms that can be given about the production. It’s fairly clean, yet not so overproduced that any individual element seems to lose its focus or edge. The vocals decisively cut through the orchestrated chaos with a soaring direction that reminds more of the vocals off of Norma Jeans’ Polar Similar than anything else, however when the guitars get aggressive, the vocals match it with a playful style that casts nods to Keith Buckley’s style. Another standout is the drums which aren’t lost in the mix at all. The drummer has an almost unspoken understanding of when to stand out with violent and powerful rhythms and when to let the guitars take over and grab the listener by the balls. The guitar work is also strikingly well thought out, grooving and maneuvering melodically through a metalcore/hardcore fusion that at times feels almost as dream-like and misty as a Deftones track.

Something about Empty Black can capture the listener with a magic that most metalcore/hardcore bands just can’t muster. It consistently blurs the lines between crushing metalcore, playfully grim lyricism, and dreamy grooving melodies that remind of Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, and even Deftones on a few instances. It caught me off guard, but even with one listen through I had the distinct impression that someone had combined all of my favorite heavy artists into one album, while also pushing far beyond the boundaries of just being inspired by them. I think that’s the real beauty of Empty Black. Greyhaven took all of this seemingly disparate chaos and wove it together into their own beautiful tapestry.



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user ratings (321)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


9458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you for reviewing this. Album is literally this good

Tranqyl
March 19th 2018


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No problem. March has been a great month for heavy music, but this album really, really rubbed me the right way. I needed to review this.

Digging: Forever Losing Sleep - I Lost Myself Again

Groundking
March 19th 2018


1100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for reviewing this, though the review was well done so pos.



The album slays to hard, I really hope that it gives the band a bit of tractions and momentum going forwards.



Can we just talk about how much Echo and Dust II absolutely goes to town? Such a good closer.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Where did these dudes come from, this fucking kills for sure.



Always refreshing to hear a metalcore/post-hxc vocal performance that's not the typical screaming tenor

Tranqyl
March 19th 2018


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No clue where these guys came from. I just saw their name on sputnik and the related bands of ETID and Norma Jean.



The last album from them was interesting too, but it suffered from a being a bit more average and from having somewhat muddy production. This is a killer step forward for them.

Tranqyl
March 19th 2018


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Echo and Dust II does go hard. Not my favorite track, but definitely a great way to end the album. It has all of this energy that just gradually boils over and slaughters in the final minute with some absolutely crushing guitar work. Love it.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Vocals reminds me of Dillinger and oddly enough Daughters at times lol, at least on some of his clean vocal sections.



"Blemish" is unquestionably my pick, replayed it at least five times before I listened to the rest of the album. Not even kidding.

Tranqyl
March 19th 2018


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I got more of a Norma Jean vibe, but the Dillinger comparison I can definitely see.



As for song choice, Sweet Machine and Mortality Rate are so fucking catchy it's insane. "They like to play with guns, like to play with God," has been chiseled into my frontal lobe.

pepster50
March 19th 2018


418 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is pretty cool, they have a unique sound imo. Need to listen more.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BREAK APART THE EAAAAARTH tho

MusicinaBox
March 19th 2018


710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for reviewing this, this album blew me out of the water, these guys have insanely good chemistry.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, I don't know about y'all, but I think this calls for a motherfuckin' hype train.



Get the fuck on board, we're riding hard boys and girls.

MusicinaBox
March 19th 2018


710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Yessir, this needs some serious light shed on it, soooooooo good.

MusicinaBox
March 19th 2018


710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Yessir, this needs some serious light shed on it, soooooooo good.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So good you gotta post it twice.



This is turning out to be a solid showing from the -core bands this first quarter. Or are we still supposed to say that it's dead?

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


16125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love this very much

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Time to dig and get in on the fun, the site shall know the goodness

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


9458 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gotta keep that average steady too

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8943 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Having two core albums at the top of the month alongside a death metal album about slugs would be pretty magical not gonna lie

Tranqyl
March 19th 2018


313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah that would be pretty sick. Only a matter of time though before a few shitters give this a 1.0/1.5 to try and destroy the average.



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