Band: Greystone Canyon
Album: While the Wheel Still Turns
Label: Rockshots Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: March 9th, 2018
The worlds of country music and rock music have crossed multiple times with favorable results, we’ve gotten classics like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Charlie Daniels Band and now we have Greystone Canyon. The band mixes the heavy metal sound of Exmortus or Iced Earth and has a very upfront inspiration from the classic Rootin’ tootin’ varmint shootin’ wild west. While the wheels still turn is a love letter to both classic heavy metal and classic country music, two things that I can really get behind.
The album opens with a short but sweet piece that mostly serves to set the albums scene and it succeeds at making anyone feel immersed in the oncoming onslaught of chugging riffs, blasting drums, and soaring vocals. The second track takes less than a minute to show that that Greystone Canyon isn’t taking names, they’re here for blood. Amid the chugging riffs there are great vocals that chill to the bone. Song 3 “In these shoes” is closer to the country roots that the band draws on throughout the album, although the solo in this song is brain melting, the kind of brain melting that wouldn’t be out of place on an exmortus track. The vocals have really great layering as well, lending to the overall feel of longing in the song, ending on a soft note that segways into the fourth song. The short cinco cuerda bandito or Five string bandit is a welcome interlude that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Track Five, “Take us all” is an epic song telling a great story, and even on the fifth listen, hearing the opening words chills me. I would call this the albums best song, not only for the amazing vocals but also for the great solo and the ability the band has to create a setting with their instruments so powerful that I can see it when I close my eyes. After this comes the Sombrero serenade, another short instrumental. Differing from cinco cuerda bandito with its much more vibrant and uplifting tune and refreshingly different from the gritty wild west setting of the rest of the album, if anything its a quick break up from the album to make sure it has your attention.
River of fire is a great song that is really fun to listen to. It sounds like the modern version of an old cowboy campfire song and has a much more classic metal vibe than the rest of the album. Path We stray is the second to last song on the album and, along with everything else on the album, is an original and enjoyable piece. The band does an excellent job of making every song feel like an individual and even as I listen to the final song, “The Sun Sets”, I can feel the shift in tone that sets this song apart from every other on the album. This band is easy to appreciate, they hit every mark a good metal band should hit while mixing it with a little western/country twist and I’m glad I finally have another cowboy metal band to listen to and rotate through a few playlists.
1. Keeping Company With The Dead
2. Astral Plane
3. In These Shoes
4. Cinco Cuerda Bandito
5. Take Us All
6. Sombrero Serenade
7. River of Fire
8. Path We Stray
9. The Sun Sets
Total Playing Time: 33:41
The epitome of power metal and folk metal (although a big fan of doom too). You can catch me playing/writing for dungeons and dragons with my friends at the local tabletop game store.