I often forget how vast the doom metal genre really is. I fall into my favorite sub-sets, get comfortable, and forget to explore. Many bands fit under the doom umbrella but move in all sorts of directions and styles. One direction I have not dived too deeply into is melodic doom. Deathwhite‘s latest album Grey Everlasting seemed like the perfect place to plunge a little further. This band has been established now for ten years, so I would say they have some expertise in the genre. With two amazing full-length releases under their belt, Grey Everlasting marks the third and quite possibly the best yet from the quartet.
Grey Everlasting is comprised of 11 songs with a run-time of just over 48 minutes. The album carries a lot of weight and depth as it was written just as the lockdown began in March of 2020 and reflects on the past few years and the environment we have created as humankind. There is a darkness to the music, but it is easily digestible with shorter songs, atmospheric moments, and the band’s signature gothic style clean vocals.
After a short ominous atmospheric track, “Earthtomb” comes in thundering with ringing riffs and crashing cymbals. This was the first single released from Grey Everlasting and understandably so as it is a dynamic and awesome track that represents the album well. Everything fans enjoy about Deathwhite is present here including catchy moody melodic vocals, doom laden riffs, and even a killer guitar solo towards the end of the song. Quieter moments are present in this song as well with acoustic guitar and strings while the drums keep up the energy and power. This is one of my favorite tracks from the album, competing with “White Sleep” which has a chorus that remained in my head for days after listening. The song builds as it progresses and even introduces slightly harsher vocals driving home the pain of the lyrics “I am nothing; I am no one.” The song is lovely yet haunting and packed with emotion that is punctuated by expressive drumming.
The beautifully detailed desolate artwork is by talented French artist Jérôme Comentale who has created three other album covers for Deathwhite. This piece perfectly complements the music, and it is no surprise that Comentale is the go-to for Deathwhite releases. Comentale’s portfolio is impressive, and he has worked on a lot of amazing projects. The album art sets the scene right away and corresponds nicely with the music video for “Earthtomb.” Both curate a similar mood that summarizes Grey Everlasting.
This release encapsulates the feelings and horrors of the past few years with the chaos that began with the global pandemic and ensued from there. We are still constantly reading about awful events and each day seems to bring something new. The band expresses, “As disheartening as these events were, they were hardly a surprise. The human race has had more than enough time to figure out how to coexist properly, but still cannot get it right…and it never will.” While this is an upsetting sentiment, I wholeheartedly agree. However, changes can take place to lead to some progression and the month of June is a great time to do introspective work as we celebrate Pride month and Juneteenth. Grey Everlasting is a very profound album and had me reflecting on the past few years. I hope you listen, reflect, and take some time to think about your impact while enjoying this stellar release from Deathwhite.