The last several months really speak volumes about the character of Scranton’s Behind the Grey. Since the band’s formation in 2012, the guys have already been through a couple of lineup changes – notably at the lead vocalist spot. The band’s original mouthpiece, who had recorded Behind the Grey’s first batch of tunes on a five-song EP, left the band, making way for Eric Katchmore, who’s since settled in nicely. In turn, Katchmore’s addition has pushed the band’s work ethic into overdrive.
With the release of the band’s newest three-song EP, it seems as though the road has been obstacle-free: at least that’s how it sounds listening to the music. This self-described “blue collar metal” band certainly features a sound here that’s as close to being fully realized as it can possibly be. With decidedly nu-metal structure, lead track “Curtain Call” is a vital blend of bottomed-out guitar riffs à la Stone Sour’s Jim Root/Josh Rand tandem, with the melodically challenging vocals of a band like Chevelle. Clocking in at a succinct 3:32, the guys get in and get out with bookended licks, showing a knack for knowing what their audience demands.
“The Crack Inside” fades in like a swarm of locusts, hitting with a Machine Head-inspired hammer. We soon get the impression that Katchmore’s been holding out on us, with his Jeckyll-and-Hyde lyrical persona switching to aggro mode with the lung-scraping line, “I’ve stopped what you started,” enhancing a track that’s already laced with jagged musical abrasions and some of the darkest metallic imagery this side of Corey Taylor’s psyche. The guitar work is particularly impressive here, as six-stringers Will Perna and Bryan Munley extend several leads with a creative burst, underscoring the musicianship within the ranks.
“Perfect Storm” closes the EP with a crushingly staccato, Helmet-like feel. The track straddles the line between a Zen-inspired sense of melancholy and outright anger; the contrasting shades of light and black buried in the band’s mood swings are truly one of the most visceral calling cards they have at play. Here, again, they storm in and shoot up the place, then flee the scene, leaving behind a nasty aural scar.
Signaling a rip ‘n’ tear rebirth, Behind the Grey drops three tracks that successfully sink its teeth into the flesh of NEPA metal and refuse to let go.
Behind the Grey ‘Behind the Grey’ Rating: W W W W W