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a doom monster - 95%

gk, January 1st, 2009

I don’t normally judge a book by its cover but when I first laid my eyes on the cover of Grey’s debut CD I felt like Sisters of the Wyrd was going to be some sort of hippie/ jam friendly/ stoner rock masquerading as doom with three women who looked more like leftovers from the 70s who crawled out of a trailer to record this album. The opening few seconds of the album with At Night’s gentle vocal harmony and melodic doom riff did little to change that impression. Then like a slow building thunderstorm that decides to rain down on a bright, sunny afternoon, the music changed. That opening melodic doom riff slowly and almost organically became a dark, depressing doom riff. After that, there really was no turning back as preconceptions were thrown out of the window and Sisters of the Wyrd became one of my favourite albums of the year.

Sisters of the Wyrd is an album with 5 songs (with the last being a completely ferocious cover of 13’s Wither) that clocks in at a little over an hour. The songs are all dark and depressing while being heavy as fuck. While Black Sabbath might be the primary influence on the band it’s the little touches of funeral doom ala Skepticism, sludge that’s got a slight NOLA feel to it and a crusty edge that’s like a slowed down Dystopia that sets Grey apart from the majority of their peers. I really can’t find fault with the band’s sound as it takes in the best of the sludge/ doom sound and turns it into an absolute monster. Another thing that I have to allot high marks to is the vocal performance of Suzanne Morales Haynes aka GypsyWitch. Her voice has that crusty, raw feel to it that is equal parts despair and anger.

I’m not going to bother with mentioning any individual songs for praise because this is one superb and consistent doom metal album where each song just builds on the atmosphere and enhances the album as a whole. It might be a bit extreme for the casual doom metal listener but Sisters of the Wyrd is essential for the doom connoisseur amongst you.

For an all girl trio that’s playing some pretty extreme doom metal, Grey seems to have received little to no hype. I can’t understand that, especially when something as overrated as Gallhammer get so much press and attention. Maybe Grey need to be wearing Celtic Frost and Amebix t-shirts too but at the end of the day this is a quality band that really doesn’t need to do anything more than play their music to blow minds. Still, if you must, then think of them as a less hyped and far superior version of Gallhammer and plunge right in.

Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com