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Greylyng - 2011 - "I Keep Silence"

(56:55, ‘Greylyng’)


1.  Gaslight Eyes 2:12
2.  Viburnum 7:24
3.  Memories of Plastic Sunshine 5:55
4.  The Sleep Projector 7:23
5.  Showdown of the Concord Sphere 9:29
6.  Between Scylla and Charybdis 8:15
7.  Static/ Murmur/ Battle 7:01
8.  You and Your Bleeding Heart 9:16


Jeffrey Cedrone – guitars; keyboards, electronics
John C. Miller – synthesizers, electronics
Stephen Zieminski – drums, vibes

Prolusion. The US trio GREYLYNG was formed back in 2002, initially consisting of Jeffrey Cedrone and John C. Miller. This duo scored a move together, and also recorded and released the band's first album "Oiwa" in 2006. Since then drummer Stephen Zieminski has joined, developing the sound of this improvisational trio further. "I Keep Silence" is the band's second production, and their first as a trio.

Analysis. Improvised music made by three musicians utilizing guitar, drums and electronics as their instrumental weapons of choice, with an emphasis on instrumental, as the album name also indicates. A tantalizing concept to some listeners I guess, while others may be curious as to what such a constellation might produce. And for starters, a good answer might be given with one word: challenging. The electronic sounds are the part that gives this act a unique sound. Swirling and chirping noises, sampled background talking and dual layers of fluctuating synth motifs are the most common features. But the sampled Mellotron makes the occasional appearance too. Partially layered backdrops and partially cinematic noisescapes, always either supporting the other instruments or occasionally given sequences of its own or backed by rhythms only, the electronic third of this band carves out a strong and distinct identity. Cedrone adds his skills to the proceedings with a great deal of variety. Wandering acoustic or non-distorted electric guitar motifs, reverberating licks of a more distinct psychedelic nature and dampened power chords are all parts of his arsenal, but so are subtly atonal careful excursions as well as a dramatic and flamboyant delivery that stays to the left side of the common harmonic register. If you can imagine a guitarist who combines the qualities of Alex Lifeson and Robert Fripp, then you'll have a pretty good idea of Cedrone's part of the proceedings, as well as the amount of variation he caters for with his chosen instrument. Zieminski appears to be a master of switching style and delivery. He can take a pattern from dampened, subdued levels to powerful energetic ones in an instant, and can go back and forth between rather different patterns just as quick. Always with a natural, organic flow I might add. Although only rarely deploying an extreme shift from one instant to the next, it never comes across as forced or contrived. And he supports the other instrumentalists in an exemplary manner too, I might add. And vice versa, as Zieminski gets his fair share of shining moments where he's supported by the other two as well. The end result is an album of performances that twist and turn in a fluid, organic and most often unpredictable manner: mostly improvised, I'd guess, how much so I don't know though. I occasionally get the notion that parts of the performances have been mapped out, at least a few key drum patterns and guitar motifs, but that the majority of the performances are purebred improvisations – intriguing ones at that, at times breathtakingly so. This CD will have a limited but dedicated audience, I suspect, of which the majority will be people with a deep fascination for challenging, instrumental progressive rock.

Conclusion. Sophisticated, instrumental progressive rock is what Greylyng provides with their second CD, revealingly called "I Keep Silence". Fans of Rush and King Crimson will most likely recognize some of the guitar textures utilized throughout, but in terms of audience interest, I surmise that followers of the latter will find this production to be closest to home. While musically not that similar to Fripp's various excursions, the overall approach and emphasis on challenging escapades should be right up the alley of quite a few Fripp-ians out there.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: April 7, 2012
The Rating Room

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