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| 25 June 2020 | Reply

Label: Loma Vista Recordings

Release Date: June 26, 2020

Rating: 94%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are often albums released that showcase a famous performers previous efforts with bands from the “early days” before they made it big, but make no mistake, this isn’t one of those albums.  The latest from Grey Daze is actually a rerecording of sorts of the best tracks from their earlier two releases… with a twist.  The vocals of Chester Bennington [RIP] have been pulled from earlier recordings and mixes and given a new foundation of musical contribution from the remaining members of the band – Sean Dowdell, Mace Beyers, and Jason Barnes – as they have updated the musical components of each of the eleven tracks.  Disc opener “Sickness” opens with a cool ethereal vibe wrapped into the music that morphs into a cool percussion mix that swirls with Bennington’s vocals.  The vibe of the track is a cool combination of the bands past sound with a cool tweak of modern rock radio tossed in for good measure.  This track sets the bar for the rest of the release.  “Sometimes” is a great song I find myself going back to time and time again.  The melody is great, the vocals are emotionally charged, and the lyrics are very poignant, especially in today’s social and political climate.  The song structure is contagious and gets you singing along first pass through (and every time after that).  “The Syndrome” is a methodical and rhythmic track that is as mesmerizing as it is catchy.  The chugging riffs in the mix are energetic without soaring above the rest of the track, while the rhythm section perfectly anchors the song.  “Just Like Heroin” is a cool track in that it weaves a funk-like rhythm and groove into the track from the opening and doesn’t let up until the last note is played.  The bass and drums in this one stand out when needed and give way to the guitars and vocals to give each part of the band a moment to shine sporadically through the song.  “Soul Song” is a beautiful track that highlights Bennington’s softer side and let’s you appreciate the voice behind the vocals, in that the emotion carries through on this track from the slight vibrato in his voice on the verse to the passioned cries and signing on the chorus.  This one slides in as my favorite on the disk due to the perfect combination of guitars, bass, and drums in the mix with the vocals.  “She Shines” helps tie the record together with with an emotive vocal that shifts into a heavy bottom ended musical piece that gets different sounds and grooves blended in along with a vocal that punches through the mix on the chorus, but gives way to the rest of the instruments on bridge and transition points.

“What’s In The Eye” has a great sound that supports the vocals and keeps the song flowing.  The ebb and flow of the songs tempo and groove keep the song interesting and allow the Dowdell, Beyers, and Barnes to flex their individual and collective musical muscles in the mix.  The track has a classic 90’s sound that doesn’t sound overdone or rehashed… it is very organic and fluid and a perfect track for the collection.  “In Time” has a slightly different feel to it as the song slowly and softly unfolds, drawing you in emotionally and sonically without getting loud or raucous.  This is one of my top 3 Chester vocals on the disc; I love the way he uses his voice to accentuate and deliver the lyrics.  “B 12” is a track that I find catches me on one listen and loses me on the next.  While the different rhythm adds depth to the track as well as the verse vocal that has a feel and vibe reminiscent of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”  “Morei Sky” opens with a beautiful piano interlude that soon shifts into a mellow composition that allows Bennington’s vocals to shine through.  The chorus is eerie and thought provoking, considering all that has transpired over the last few years.  There are lyrics that will stick with you long after you have heard them, and this is one of them.  These words ring true for most of us who have one (or more) moments they would like to correct or redo in their life.  Be sure to check out the guitar work that lives and breathes underneath the vocal.  Disc closer “Shouting Out” is the final piece in my personal hat trick on this disc, with a song that leads in beautifully musically and allows us to enjoy the voice once again.  The percussion woven into the verse adds to the songs rhythm while the guitars and bass on the chorus help create a wall of sound thickness to the track.  The layered vocals on the verse stand out in the mix and take this track to the next level.  one of the most emotional moments on the disc is the fade out that gives us one final ‘I Love You’ from Chester himself…

Tracklisting: Sickness – Sometimes – What’s In The Eye – The Syndrome – In Time – Just Like Heroin – B 12 – Soul Song – Morei Sky – She Shines – Shouting Out






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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