Well.. let me start off by saying “Wow.” Having never heard Greyline before, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. But their latest release, Behind the Masquerade (2010) was really a pleasant surprise, considering I don’t find myself impressed by new music all that often. From the very beginning of the album, it’s clear that this band has managed to create something very different with their unique brand of composition. In doing a little research I’ve seen them classified as progressive hardcore, but in my humble opinion, what they offer is more melodic and reminiscent of good old rock and roll than what I’ve come to expect from that particular genre. They’re one of those groups that are difficult to put a label on, it seems.
The album opens with “Flooding the Mountains,” a track with a punk rock drum beat and (please don’t shoot!) some very country & western sounding guitar. Which is to say that it’s very twangy and the sound is very bare, not in the sense that it’s a gritty sound but more like a lone guitarist picking out a tune. Although I dig that sort of thing, I know it’s not for everyone, and a lot of metal fans will probably be a bit put off by it. Continue to listen though and you’ll find that it does meld into something heavier, something more like what you were probably expecting to hear to begin with. In the case of this particular song that initial fast-paced drum beat slows down just a hair, more instruments join the fray, but that guitar still stands out loud and clear. For more of this on the album, also check out “Hunt of the Coyote.”
There wasn’t a track on the album that was hard and heavy all the way through. Greyline manages to switch things up with little melodic interludes here and there, whether with vocals or solely instrumental, intermingled with the aforementioned punk rock-type drum beats and guitars varying from mild mannered to downright abrasive. To me that goes a long way towards keeping things interesting. And speaking of the vocals.. they are, as one would expect, growly for the most part but not overpowering. They don’t overshadow the music, and they also aren’t impossible to understand. Final verdict? Definitely worth a listen, or two.. or several.