Grey Skies Fallen – The Many Sides of Truth (Xanthros Music)

Sunday, 27th April 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Ever persistent with releases, yet never really in the forefront of metal, NYC’s Grey Skies Fallen release their fourth album since 1999 with The Many Sides of Truth.  Much like a number of their NY brethren with a penchant for blurring genre lines, you can hear bits of everything from doom, black, death, and progressive material as The Many Sides of Truth plays from beginning to end.  Grey Skies Fallen keep things moving through the seven tracks (though three are short instrumental breaks), with a solid sense of songwriting and never feeling like a jumble of varied influences.

It is always ambitious to start off an album with a track that is nearly 10 minutes long.  It quickly separates those that will enjoy this type of material and those that will not.  There is a deliberate sense of pacing though, opening up with a gloomy pace and some clean vocals before it picks up about half way through “Ritual of the Exiter” into more melodic death and black metal territory.  “The Flame” is the heaviest number overall, opening with a more Enslaved vibe until the acoustic ending.  “Of the Ancients” has a progressive feel to it, though some of the clean vocals feel a bit melodramatic compared to the rest of the songs.  “End of the Rope” has a Novembers Doom vibe crossed with chugging guitars at the beginning that sounds pretty interesting.

One thing that Grey Skies Fallen really should be commended for is their use of interludes.  With most bands, an interlude is simply used as a moment for reprieve between songs, but all three on The Many Sides of Truth feel like more than that.  The mostly acoustic pieces are emotive and actually add to the disc, rather than feeling like time-fillers.

Though the vocals in a few spots feel overdone, The Many Sides of Truth is a consistently engaging affair.  The blend of genres insures that it’s never boring and does beg one question: Why aren’t more people talking about Grey Skies Fallen?

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