Decyfer Down - End of Grey Review
by Matthew Hastie
Dear Metal Music,
Hello old friend, how are you? Oh how do I start this? Metal, I know I speak for many people when I say we've had a wonderful, yet rocky relationship. You gave us such wonderful bands like Metallica (pre St. Anger), Pantera (God Rest Dime's Soul, we miss you Bro!), and Slayer (Can God and Slayer honestly be put into the same sentence?) But what the hell was the whole fractioning off of bands? Nu-Metal? What!?!?! Nu-Metal almost killed not only metal but rock music in general. I'm still waiting for Satan to keep his end of the bargain and bring me Fred Durst's bleach blonde head, but I don't think he's gonna deliver it.
How can I state this gently? Music shouldn't get fractioned off like a sect in a religion. Catholicism and Episcopalians, still Christians. KoRn and As I Lay Dying, still metal. I only bring up religion here because of Christian Metal and Hardcore bands like As I Lay Dying, and the band Decyfer Down. People have always thought Christian music has sucked, and I was among them, until I heard Christian metal. Just like when metal first emerged, those nice and wholesome kids still found a way to give a shotgun face-lift to anyone in their path. And God said, "It was good".
Decyfer Down does a stellar job with their music. It is well presented and definitely heavy. At times it might not be metal enough to stand up with modern bands like Black Label Society or Shadows Fall, but it kicks ass. The melodies to each song are fantastic and thankfully it doesn't get old. Many bands sacrifice talent to have something approachable and end up with the same sounds on every song. This is their first album so they could be amazing but they could still suck. There isn't too much I can say they need to improve. It's very rare to find a band that is so audibly pleasing on their first album and keep it up on the second album, so only time will tell.
It's very hard to compare Decyfer Down to anyone else, because every time I get close to deciding on a band they sound like I change my mind. There is something inherently new about their music that I can't quit put my finger on. Each of the songs could potentially be a rock radio hit, and hopefully we will hear more of them out there. "Life Again", the album's second track features a decent enough guitar solo, and I am actually glad it isn't too over done. Guitar solos are great and all but they get overdone and end up taking away from the songs. Each of the members seems to be professional enough, and guitarists Brandon Mills and Chris Clonts definitely have both kept up on their chops. But I think most importantly is the vocal range from lead singer/bassist Caleb Oliver. He isn't the best but he can have a good rocking voice (better than most contestants on Rockstar Supernova) and he can still sing well. Which brings me to the low point of "The End of Grey". "Burn Back the Sun" is probably my least favorite track on the CD, and I think it's just because it's too typical for a band to write a ballad anymore. Especially one that sounds like a mix of Switchfoot, Lifehouse, and what Creed tried to be. Some of their other slower songs are a bit better, but I just can't dig this one at all. By far the best tracks on the CD are "Break Free", "Never Lost", and the album closer "Vanity". I think that this might be the band to bring a greater deal of people into the otherside of Christian music, but I don't know if they'll do anything more than that. I would love to see them do something bigger and louder, maybe a bit harder, and until they write a new CD I am satisfied with "The End of Grey".
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Decyfer Down - End of Grey
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