The Spanish post-metal outfit, DEGRAEY, have emerged with their debut album, Chrysalis. Delving into post-metal and rock, and elements of doom, how does the record hold up?
Chrysalis begins with From Them; a soft and warming introduction to the record. Although it’s off to a gentle start, the track gradually picks up weight and evolves from a calming melody to a heavier sound, while keeping the original uplifting tone. The addition of muted guitar patters are a nice touch to the track before kicking off into the main riff, which is where the track comes to life. A lack of vocals allows the listener to focus entirely on the talent of each member of DEGRAEY, which they show off wonderfully on this track. Eventually, initially soothing vocals are brought in from Victor Paradis and take the track to a whole new level; while the track slows in pace before kicking off for the final section, featuring more aggressive vocals from Cesar Perals and thus changing the emotions of the song entirely.
The record then progresses into In my Struggle, which presents a strong mix of emotions as it starts off with a more gentle, welcoming tone, before exploding towards the end into more of an outburst of emotion that feels as if it’s been building up for some time. Chuggy guitar patterns compliment the emotion of the track and add to the brief feelings of anger/frustration that are presented on the track.
Chrysalis brings forth a mix of genres to suit everyone’s taste, with prog-metal being the heart of their sound. Hearth brings more of the prog-rock/metal feel to the record than in previous tracks on the album, with soothing vocals and a fierce tremolo build-up before the return of chuggy riffs and a heavier build-up to the eventual explosion of vocals from Cesar Perals. Cesar’s screams show real emotion and come together beautifully with the emotion portrayed from the rest of the instruments in the track. Similar to how humans react after an outburst of emotion, Hearth returns to its more soothing side, with a spoken word section adding an interesting break before coming to a close.
As seen in Frozen Fangs, one thing DEGRAEY really excel at is creating music with varying emotions that blend together into a single emotional journey. Frozen Fangs compliments the emotional mix with a concoction of uplifting instrumentals and low, forceful growls, making for a complex but highly enjoyable track. The album does have its limitations, however somewhat minor. Shellhead doesn’t really seem to do much for the album and is slightly repetitive, but enjoyable nonetheless. The instrumental track also makes you realise how vital the vocal contributions from both Victor Paradis and Cesar Perals are to the band, as it’s the final piece of the beautiful atmospheric puzzle that is DEGRAEY.
Chrysalis comes to a close with its title track, and is a wonderful close to the album. Keeping to a similar build up and eruption of emotion to tracks such as From Them, but amplified to create an excellent finisher which is arguably the highlight of the record, Chrysalis is a truly cracking track. The only gripe is that the bass, as with a few of the tracks on this album, is barely noticeable, which is a shame because when Luc Espinach’s (Bass) work is heard, it shines. The album brings together ferocity and gripping emotion, while giving an atmospheric journey that does not disappoint. The ability to do such requires a lot of skill and passion, and DEGRAEY pull it off beautifully, giving reason to believe this lot are going to be big should they carry on after this release.
Chrysalis is an excellent debut from the Spanish post-metallers DEGRAEY, and focuses on a plethora of sounds as opposed to sticking with one style. The record brings forth a mix of emotions to the listener, adding to the quality of the record and making it one a lot of people could connect to emotionally. The way DEGRAEY have managed to blend a variety of emotions together to create an album of this quality is a true art. We hope to see more from them in the future, as this is just the beginning of what could be a very promising future for DEGRAEY.
Chrysalis is out now via self-release.
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