Greeley Estates

The Death Of Greeley Estates

Written by: AP on 09/11/2011 22:59:23

With each successive release, Phoenix, AZ based Greeley Estates have grown meaner and more aggressive, and their latest bludgeoning is no exception. As usual, "The Death of Greeley Estates" is loaded with enormous breakdowns and unsettling riffs, but it also sees vocalist Ryan Zimmerman return to clean singing, thus providing a dose of retrospect for fans of "Go West Young Man, Let the Evil Go East".

Unfortunately, although it is a matter of opinion of course, the reintroduction of his nasal singing does not sit well with the downright eerie atmosphere that reigns over the album, with the result that the visceral instrumentation in the likes of "The Last Dance" and "Bodies" becomes obscured beneath generic hooks at times. But as the vitriolic, monumentally heavy opening track "Straightjacket" proves, there are counterparts on offer, too, and it is in these that Greeley Estates still sound the best. Zimmerman's screaming is absolutely murderous; and certainly strong enough to carry the album on its own. Thus it should come as no surprise that the album's finest outtakes are also its heaviest, while the crowd-pleasing options offer little that virtually every other stateside metalcore band already doesn't.

Greeley Estates do succeed in their marriage of heavy and light a number times, most notably on "The Medic" and "Mouth to Mouth", which see Zimmerman veer into a rougher style of singing and enlist a backing choir to provide additional texture. But even so there is little intrigue in songs like mandatory ballad "A Thousand Burning Forests" and "Leave the Light on", which despite their basic structure and calculated hooks are slow to stick. Clearly the greatest asset Greeley Estates have to toy with given their tendency to settle for mediocre and predictable songs, is their ability to exact both strong emotion and power at the listener. Without exaggerating, there are moments on songs such as "The Reaction" and "Tonight" that sound outright threatening, a constant sense of terror looming beneath the sinister riffs. This Greeley Estates capture like no other metalcore band; they're pioneering a brand of metalcore designed for scares. These moments are just too few and far in between.

In terms of references for those not yet familiar with Greeley Estates, the closest companions the band currently has are the Devil Wears Prada (on the "Zombie" EP and "Dead Throne" in particular), as well as Bring Me the Horizon (in the context of the guitar tone and volume of the breakdowns), both of whom also favor haunting and dubious sounds instead of standard fare staccato and harmonized leads. But both bands have also unearthed a formula that sets them apart from their contemporaries, whereas Greeley Estates offer next to no innovation beyond their ability to sound like bloodthirsty ghouls. "The Death of Greeley Estates" is solid, decent metalcore of the darkened kind, but if you came here looking for surprises, this is not what you're after.

7

Download: Straightjacket, The Medic, The Reaction, The Postman, Mouth to Mouth
For the fans of: Bring Me the Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada, Drop Dead Gorgeous
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.08.2011
Tragic Hero Records

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