End of Grey, the major-label-debut from SRE Recordings' NC-based Decyfer Down, got me hooked from the first song. Immediately noticeable is the quality of production, performance, and all around talent reverberating from this release, which was something I was not expecting from yet another freshman rock outfit. I was both surprised and mildly impressed at their ability to inject appealing melodies into every track, while still keeping the hard rock outer-shell that is important to fans of the genre.
Decyfer is currently taking radio by storm with "Life Again," the album's second track, and one of the harder songs on the record. The band describes their music as partly being for people who have been burned by religion, and this track strongly draws from that theme. Dealing with the struggle to break away from a sinful life and find the Lord again, this song offers an incredible amount of hope to struggling believers; and like referenced earlier, is a hard rock song with a powerfully melodic center. Another stand-out is "Burn Back The Sun," which follows the same formula, again offering hope to the listeners.
"Here to You" is the sole ballad on the album, and pays tribute to Decyfer's acoustic beginnings. This song deals with the gap between humanity and God, and His almighty power over us. Decyfer sings, "You are what's turning my world around, moving me close in a moment, with a single motion." I enjoyed how the album is all about God, yet was never tries to force-feed religion to the audience. The listener is able to accept the album as a great collection of hard rock songs, even by mainstream's standards, while still receiving a great amount of blessing from the lyrics as well.
End of Grey showcases Decyfer Down's musical ability and talent well, and makes for a solid freshman release. While the music is very good, their particular genre is different in the way that all great "hard rock" has the same characteristics: loud guitars, aggressive tempos, and truthful, albeit sometimes painful, lyrical content. The true test for Decyfer will be if they can survive the all-too-common sophomore slump and evolve into something unique. While End of Grey is one of the best hard rock albums released so far this year, it will be interesting to see what the future holds - just another group to keep an eye on.- Review date: 6/19/06, written by Andrew Shaw
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