Greeley Estates: The Narrow Road Review

By on December 3, 2012
Release Date: Available Now
Label: Independent
HHM Rating:
[xrr rating=9/10]
Greeley Estates are back with their follow up to the ironically titled and successful album: The Death of Greeley Estates. The Narrow Road is the first EP in a series of two (Devil Son being the latter) and is also the band’s first independent release, after parting ways with Tragic Hero Records. As the into for The Narrow Road’s opener (and title track) begins to creep in, a sense of panic and horror will overtake the listener until the intro hits its critical mass: combustion strikes and a spine cracking scream takes the reigns of the song; leading it into some classic Greeley Estates. The rhythm pounds away while an intricate lead syncs up with Zimmerman’s vocal insanity until the technical guitar closes the song with it’s display of some serious finger magic. “The Narrow Road” is the perfect opener; offering you a chance to scatter in the fear of what’s to come or to stand your ground and embrace it’s melodic seduction of insanity. The next track “Head Underwater” opens with a full AC-130 gunship barrage, reminiscent of the band’s 2010 song “Friends are Friends for Never.” Zimmerman is an absolute monster as he vocally breaks down in demonic shouts of an enemies failure and the band’s survival: an unfortunate survival for the respective enemy. The listener cannot help but feel pity for those referenced in the song who have chosen to cross Zimmerman. The song then hits with a more emotional chorus laced with sad undertones and a hidden vulnerability until finally snapping back into an outright onslaught of musical revenge.

In the 3rd song “Lot Lizards” Zimmerman carpet bombs the listener with death growls that can put the hardest of “hard bands” to shame; The song transitions into the chilling, horror-style chorus that Greeley fans came to love in the band’s previous album The Death of Greeley Estates. Greeley breaks it down hard in The Narrow Road’s next track “Watch It Burn.” In the midst of the musical chaos, Zimmerman’s trademark clean vocal vanity makes an appearance that will leave older Greeley fans grinning while thinking to themselves “Ryan’s with the vampire squad.” The next song appropriately titled “Die” will send the “boy bands” running for the hills. Again, Greeley showcases their musical evolution with some amazingly crafted guitar work: a fast and perfect synchronization of the brutal rhythm and seducing lead. “Die” has the most powerful chorus on The Narrow Road: an explosive, almost religious, delivery of judgment and damnation upon the intended. Greeley manages to find some compassion in the next track “Lennox House” somehow using classic Greeley brutality to deliver an uplifting message.

The Narrow Road closes with the song “Doomsday” a track that ends the world with the best of Greeley’s creepy musical undertones as well as some disturbing vocals that almost seem to possess a (dare I say it) molesting agenda of their own. The listener will envision nothing short of burning cityscape and blackened sky, as they pay their visit to: A Musical Apocalypse, hosted by Greeley Estates.

The fact that this is an independent release is nothing short of amazing; The Narrow Road is a stunning display of the band’s evolution; an evolution that has been carefully infused into the evil Greeley sound we all love so much. The quality of the production has suffered in no single way [without a label]; the composition is as clean and crisp as any label release. Greeley Estates has pulled it off and after satisfying fans with this release, they will surely leave fans eagerly awaiting their next: Devil Son. If you haven’t already, Be sure to grab your copy of The Narrow Road on iTunes.

Review by Matt Crane – HHM