Greyfell - Horsepower - (4/10)
Published on April 20, 2018
Formed in 2012, and self-labeled as “stoner for the sake of it,” the stoner doom/psychedelic French act Greyfell have already released a full-length, as well as an EP and split in their fairly short career. 2018 sees the band releasing their second full-length, Horsepower, via Argonauta Records. Five tracks in slightly less than 35 minutes gives these tracks a lot of time to build and grow, but there almost too much airiness and distortion to let the band really take over the scene.
Let it be said that there are some good ideas on display on this release. There are plenty of riffs, and most of which are right in line with the genre, but feel a bit generic. Also, the vocal performance is strong, going back between a nice clean voice and the occasional scream, but they are so echo-y that they feel drowned out by the guitars and drums. Each element of the album almost feels like it could be better if the mixing and production were a bit clearer. At times the instruments just meld into one another, and become hard to distinguish, and again the vocals feel almost drenched in effects because of just how far away they sound.
While there are again some interesting ideas on the album, and the band clearly has a love for the stoner sounds of old, the use of a more modern take could do wonders for the overall sound. While trying to be positive, it becomes more apparent that Horsepower is an album with quite a few pitfalls. The tracks are long, but at times feature no real movement and are too repetitive to not fade away into background music. That being said though, the slower section of “No Love” with the spoken word and screams in the background do show the band looking to try something a little different within the album, and ends up being one of the more interesting parts of the release. In general really, the varied vocal performance is a definite highlight, and makes the record worth listening too, but there just seems to be a few too many things really holding this album back.
Greyfell unfortunately had some promise with this new release, but have failed to live up to any excitement I may have had. The album felt like a struggle to get through with each listen, and the splashes of good are drowned out and done away by a lacking production. I can see where the and had an idea of making the album come across as heavy and living up to the old school acts of the genre, but unfortunately it was a misstep here, and let some decent instrumentation and vocal work fall by the wayside. Die hard fans of the genre may enjoy this release somewhat, but with the heavy hitters of stoner and doom over the last few years, there are other bands making bigger waves and leaving better impressions when its all said and done.