Album review: Greyhaven – This Bright And Beautiful World

Misnamed third album from Kentucky progressive post-hardcore outfit Greyhaven explores humanity’s bleakest aspects…

Album review: Greyhaven – This Bright And Beautiful World
Mischa Pearlman

Don’t let the title fool you. Kentucky’s Greyhaven haven’t had a change of heart for this third full-length. For while its title might suggest songs about roses, the 10 tracks that comprise This Bright And Beautiful World are much more like the writhing, wriggling maggots in a decaying corpse. Which is to say that, four years on from the coruscating tales of 2018’s second effort, Empty Black, the progressive post-hardcore four-piece have returned with their glasses even emptier and blacker.

That’s clear from the off. Opener In A Room Where Everything Dies is an apoplectic surge of intense darkness that pulls as few punches as its title. A discordant, discombobulating sonic journey that takes on the weight of eternity in its three minutes, it sounds like an epic journey into the Underworld. A great start. But it’s followed by single All Candy, a much tamer prospect that’s like Alice In Chains – had they been a part-time soul band.

Indeed, it’s on the heavier, visceral moments that Greyhaven excel here – the more blistering parts of A Painful And Necessary Action, the unforgiving sonic mayhem of More And More Hands, the ironically brutal angularity of The Quiet Shakes. Thematically, it’s a black cloud of depression, angst and anger, but the songs are always battling against that oppressive mindset, trying to break through into the light.

The best example of that is penultimate track And It’s Still Too Loud, which ebbs and flows between menace and resignation. As it starts to slow down towards the end, it almost channels a more detached Muse / Radiohead vibe. That paranoia flows into gentle closer Ornaments From The Well, which rounds this record off in hypnotically maudlin fashion, a gentle lull of discontent that then bursts into a crescendo of despair at the end – so much so that vocalist Brent Mills’ voice cracks as he’s singing, as if from the burden of existence. It’s a stunning end to a solid record, but one that doesn’t always reach the heights – or ghoulish depths – it’s striving for.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Alice In Chains

Echo is released on April 15 via Rude

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