Release Date: January 27, 2017
From Killarney, Ireland comes brother and sister duo Greywind. Steph and Paul O’Sullivan may be the new kids in town but, make no mistake, they will quickly become rulers of the whole mountain. Their sound, falling somewhere between Lacuna Coil and nineties U2, is fresh and emotionally charged, as riddled with aggressive guitar work as it is with ambient textures and surprisingly anthemic vocal work.
So, it’s no secret that the vocals are important to me when choosing what to listen to and I generally prefer female vocals because women feel much more expressive to me. Turns out Steph O’Sullivan can hang with the best of them. On tracks like the gentle “The Lake” or the explosive title track or the Pop gem “Safe Haven,” she rises to the occasion every time no matter the base genre. She not only understands how to surf the song’s wave, she knows how to be a part of it.
A beautiful voice is only as good as the songs it sings though and pretty much every track here could be a single. The title track is thick and explosive, leaning on the heavy guitars but also maintaining an ethereal feel that reminds me of Lacuna Coil’s more commercial moments. “Safe Haven” is easily my favorite track here, driven by its musical and lyrical clarity, it’s a powerhouse Pop anchor. As Steph echoes “I know a place…a safe place” as the music fades for a moment, I can’t help but get goosebumps. It’s so powerful that I want to force every person struggling with life to listen to it. “Stitch On My Wings,” on the other hand, has a bluesy, acoustic swagger to it which brings some additional depth to the album without abandoning the effects-heavy guitar work and the ethereal tone established throughout the album. I think I dig this song above some of the others because it really shows that the band can’t be easily categorized.
This album really has it all. It flirts with Symphonic Metal, Electronica, Rock, and Pop without fully embracing any of them and, in the process creating something new and tremendously exciting. Greywind are certainly one of my favorite new bands and Afterthoughts is a strong contender for my 2017 Album of the Year pick.
Reviewed by mark1340