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Greylevel: Hypostatic Union
Greylevel Hypostatic Union new music review

Greylevel: Hypostatic Union

Progressive Rock
3.75/5.0

Greylevel seems more than a name for this Canadian band as it also describes their music. If grey is somewhere between the brightness of light and the darkness of black, then Greylevel strides that unpredictable chasm on their second release Hypostatic Union. We associate grey with anything from bleakness to gloom, from solemnity to mourning. The band says the album is 'centered around themes of loss and alienation and the search for meaning in the transcendent', and I believe it, especially the former. You can feel 'loss and alienation' in layers of ethereal to eerie synthesizers and massive riffage that drives most songs. In one sense, this is positive. Musically, Greylevel has accomplished their goal, allowing the music to reflect the lyrical content.

Mostly the songs often begin with quieter light moments only to build to that tonnage of riffs and tiers of synthesizers. It's Porcupine Tree, Muse, and Anathema on the psychiatrist's couch on a cool, overcast, and rainy Toronto monday. Interspersed are brightness of piano or the melancholy guitar solo. Memory Remains and Achromatize are typical of the former. The latter comes in Terminal, likely the most upbeat and friendly song, if that's possible, on this somber album.

Though light and dark, heaviness and softness, are juxtaposed throughout, it's not that simple to define the composition of each song. They must be considered on their own merits, but the theme is dramatically present and sometimes suspect. Perhaps the only reprieve comes on the instrumental Burned in Time, a light, airy, and melancholy piece driven by acoustic guitar.

As for 'the search for meaning in the transcendent' that may come in the title track Hypostatic Union. The term is used to describe the Christian concept of the mysterious union of humanity and divinity in Jesus Christ. This speaks volumes to assuaging loss and alienation. The prophet Isaiah states, 'Surely he (Christ) has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.' The prophecy fulfilled in , Christ says, 'Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' And so the Apostle Peter instructs suffering believers to 'humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God ... casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.'

But I could be reading too much into this song. It's the longest track and not always that interesting, and the lyrics a more than a little metaphorically obtuse.

Greylevel's Hypostatic Union is not exactly the platter of bright progressive rock. Yet in the melancholy grey, there is a glimmer of hope, and enough to offer intrigue to the fan of the genre.






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In Short

Greylevel's Hypostatic Union is not exactly the platter of bright progressive rock. Yet in the melancholy grey, there is a glimmer of hope, and enough to offer intrigue to the fan of the genre.

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