Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Greeley Estates ~ The Death Of Greeley Estates

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: metalcore, heavy metal
Label: Tragic Hero Records
Year: 2011
Home: Arizona

Members: Ryan Zimmerman ~ vocals
Brandon Hackenson ~ lead guitar
David Ludlow ~ rhythm guitar
Chris Julian ~ drums
Kyle Koelsch ~ bass


The fifth album from metalcore rockers GE shows a band, who found early fame via the Vans Warped Tour & the Myspace Tour, attempting to move into new musical territory. Not just are only two members left from their 2002 founding, in vocalist Ryan Zimmerman & guitarist Brandon Hackenson, but The Death Of Greeley Estates seeks to bring together their early emo leanings with their later day metalcore. It's very much a transition album, further compounded by the fact that GE has seen a regular turn over in membership never allowing the band to get musically comfortable while the change in musical focus over the decade has led to a diversity amongst fans. It's now time for a bridge between fan groups plus a relaxation into the music versus yet another rediscovery of what GE is. Marilyn Manson is not necessarily an originator but definetly a litmus test of the potential of mainstream industrial music. He comes to mind while listening to GE who use similiar industrial-esque guitar slogging rhythms & shouted lyrics. GE also pulls in the dark elements of Manson but without the nonsense lyrics. The difference is that Manson is much moodier & explores variations in tempo & arrangements while GE is basically going for onslaught supreme a la Korn, Rage Against The Machine & parts of nu metal. What gives GE a different feeling, & which is probably a hangover from their emo days, is the heavy chorus & effect on the vocals & the use of symphonic keyboards. The keyboards are a delightful bonus that give the songs a much needed added dimension, the best example is "Friendly Neighborhood Visit" which also includes a boy's choir. Slashing guitars, no matter how rhythmic, have only so much texture & GE have discovered this fact. A highlight is "Bodies" that pulls back the heavy rhythms & creates one of the most haunting songs on the album. The sixth song "A Thousand Burning Forests" follows the same mold essentially showing at this point the two sides of GE which includes the industrial-esque onslaught &then more haunting pieces that seem to be a different band. This approach is more common than not with bands today & often has detrimental results in terms of album cohesion, but with GE the lighter songs provide more of a relief than a speed bump ... a calm before the storm. This is achieved by the fact that many of the more industrial songs (i.e. "Leave The Light On", "Circle The Wagons", "Mouth To Mouth", "The Reaction") include small elements of the opposing softer style. The album does suffer with tediousness that weighs in long before the 15 songs are over. GE is one of a new breed of bands that is finding fame through constant touring & new social websites such as myspace &twitter. They're also one of the many bands of the next new wave of metal. But, I believe bands like GE will go a lot farther with a bit less experimentation & a bit more relaxation into what they do best ... & not trying to pour out everything out with one album. Hold a little back. Do a strip ... tease ... not a strip.



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