Artist: Faded Grey
Album: Pathfinder (EP)
Color is one of the true stalwarts of the world we live in. Stop and think; what would life be like without the vibrant cascade of constant entertainment that is color. What would paint the concrete jungles we live in? What facets of the way you interact with people around you might be different? While color is a bastion of our day-to-day life, over time, all colors lose their vibrancy—even the most lustrous, polished lacquers will, without attention, sacrifice their sheen to the ebb and flow of time. On one hand, this process is one of mourning—a saddening bastardization of a once-magnificent shade or hue. On the other, it’s a magnificent process which demonstrates the true power of time. Faded Grey, a soul-filled and bone-breaking metalcore act from Michigan, embody this process brilliantly with their debut EP, Pathfinder. Filled with emotion and heart, yet aggressive and powerful, Pathfinder is a juggernaut of an EP with more than enough passion to make it truly timeless.
The material on Pathfinder is truly unique in that it brilliantly displays two opposing forces: melodic, heart-filled harmony and bone splintering, gut busting heaviness. Many bands attempt such a heavy-soft dynamic with a result that is lackluster to say the least: a heavy release with cheesy choruses or a soft, whimsical release with the occasional cookie-cutter breakdown. However, Faded Grey are far ahead of their peers, as Pathfinder is home to an equal amount of an equally prodigal mastery of both of the aforementioned aspects. Before analyzing the entire, full-bodied dynamic of this young band, however, an individual examination of the heavy and heart-filled components alike of the release is key.
“Neglect,” the debut single from Pathfinder is far and away the most aggressive song on the EP. Faded Grey use looming, heavy drums and deep, asthenopheric guitar tones to sock the listener in the stomach and crack the listener’s ribs. These dark, heavy instruments are mirrored by a low, growling vocal attack which delivers bitter, abusive lyric to the listener’s ears, melting their brain and filling their head with anger. As the candor of the drums rises and falls throughout the song, and the guitars drop from soaring, technically proficient riffs to booming, explosive breakdowns, the listener’s pulse follows, quickening with the pace, and dropping to a barely detectible murmur after being annihilated by the track’s climactic heaviness. “More Than This” opens with a series of pulverizing, quick and jabbing breakdowns which then decay into a full-blown war on the listener’s sanity—only before picking the pace up again, keeping the vocal element as the only constant facet of the track’s multifaceted attack.
“More Than This” also displays the band’s other incredible facet—indescribable amounts of heart, soul and passion. The conclusion of the track is an instrumental section which reaches out and cleanses the listener’s wounds, absolving them of anger. Likewise, the conclusion to “Underwater” does so with an uplifting interlude and a melodic, positive bridge—which crosses into an absolutely devastating stuttering breakdown. The true moment of idyllic emotion and comprehensive feeling provided on Pathfinder is the conclusion to “Everything We’ve Wanted,” which has behemoth and uplifting instrumentation, alongside the tasteful inclusion of soft, subtle piano which wraps the listener’s ears in sheet after sheet of sheer, soft silk. These moments show the serene side of Faded Grey, a band who are not only proficient in relentless, unstoppable heaviness, but unfathomable and unquestionable passion.
Whether it’s the way “More Than This” begins as a juggernaut of fierce, savage anger and ends as an uplifting, heart-rending anthem or the way that “Everything We’ve Wanted” covers every end of the human emotional spectrum, there is something for the listener to synchronize with on Pathfinder. Faded Grey bring loathing and misanthropy on “Neglect,” but redemption and positivity on “More Than This” and “Everything We’ve Wanted,” proving their worth in any light. Truly, this prodigal act have provided us with an EP which will not only stand up to the test of time, but never lose it’s sheen, even in the darkest of days.
Faded Grey was formerly known as Motives, and includes members from previous Michigan act, THEIA.
For Fans Of: Of Virtue, All’s Quiet, The Ghost Inside, Barrier
By: Connor Welsh