Album Review: Grey Skies Fallen – Cold Dead Lands 7.5 (Death Doom)

Written by Mass

  • Grey Skies Fallen
  • Cold Dead Lands
  • Doom Metal/Death Doom
  • New York, USA
  • January 24, 2020
  • Highlights: Procession to the Tombs – Picking Up the Pieces
  • 7.5/10

As the Empty Tombs Await Our Arrival

21 years after their debut, The Fate of Angles, and six years after their previous work, the American Grey Skies Fallen is back with another death/doom album to create a piece they have proven to be capable of.

The first thing which is worth mentioning in this album is its artistic cover. I am totally in favor of bands actually taking artwork into serious consideration and GSF is a band worthy of praise for their meticulous choice of album covers which are of esthetic value. This piece is a dark and sort of fantastical image of a land of doom. The shadowy and blurry atmosphere in which some human silhouettes and an obelisk are barely visible on top of some coastal rocks has created a nightmarish sight. It is indeed a glimpse into a cold dead land. Thumbs up to the artist Travis Smith, who has previously worked with giants like Death, Katatonia, Amorphis, Iced Earth, Anathema and Opeth, for creating yet another superb work of art.

The musical style of this album resembles the band’s previous work in their representation of the darkness of doom and the ferocity of death. The riffs are made up of all the common elements in this domain of music, even borrowing from epic doom and atmospheric doom here and there to enrich the listeners’ experience. The highlights of the album are the sections in which they give rein to melody and atmosphere over mere dragging riffs and dead tempos that are quite prevalent in commonplace doom albums. These two styles of composition are conjoined on almost every song; I would have liked more to have them separate so that I could know what songs are going to stand out and which ones I could skip. They all start strong but fall flat towards the end; so at the end, I am left bewildered as to which songs I like and which I don’t.

Grey Skies Fallen: Bandcamp / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

As far as singing is concerned, Rick Habeeb’s duality of clean vocals and growls has, for one thing, added to the diversity of sound and for another, aligned singing and music to the extent that creates a better unity between these two sometimes-detached elements. Maybe thanks to Dan Swano, this legend of metal, who has been in charge of mixing and mastering of this album, this coherence of sounds (musical and vocal) is achieved.

The subject matter for their lyrics is personal struggles and darkness of soul, despair and hopelessness. However, it does not end there and they have, certainly successfully, added an element of fantasy to their lyricism. Procession to the Tombs is the track which I liked particularly for this reason.

This album will be released on 24th of January via Xanthros music. So if you are a doomer and enjoy this genre, this album could be a decent prelude for My Dying Bride’s The Ghost of Orion.

Lyrics: 7.5
Artwork: 8.5
Musicianship: 6.5
Vocals: 7.0
Overall: 7.5

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