REVIEW: FROM BLUE TO GRAY – “Abstention of Interference”
Out of the wilderness of Michigan, From Blue to Gray have unleashed a formidable musical onslaught with their release of ‘Abstention of Interference’ on Luxor Records. Within ten songs, the band spans a vast landscape taking the listener on a journey of rage, loss, and acceptance. This album questions our existence through poignant compositions and blistering arrangements that are a testament to the creativity and musical prowess of this band.
Opening with savage mastery of “Slave Grinder”, the introduction to this album is a devastating onslaught of riffs. The driving factor behind From Blue to Gray’s sound is the surgical precision of each musician as they complement and contrast each other. The fuel that ignites each song is the drumming of Dan Graham. He is a machine with flourishing tom rolls, splashy cymbal work, and a crushing kick drum. Adding the coup de grace is the vocal hatred of Dale Flewless – his tortured vocals focus and magnify the emotional quotient emanating from within each composition.
‘Abstention of Interference’ is progressive and technical metal at its finest. However, don’t let that deter you if you fear a bunch of musical wanking. From Blue to Gray create songs that envelope elements of jazz and progressive rock music while retaining heaviness. Case in point is the musical interlude of “Atraxia”. A melancholy bass line featuring the talents of bassist Jordan Myers is woven into a progressive metal tapestry with hints of jazz and classical composition. This exploratory piece along with “Vulgarity of Silence”, “Cognitive Dissonance” and the preludes found on “Fractured Reality: Reflection” provide dynamic tension with the surrounding heavier material.
It should be mentioned that ‘Abstention of Interference’ is a delicious treat for those who dig outstanding guitar work. Guitarists Dave Jaber and Tim Drexler not only write some intriguing and compelling riffs – they splash zest into each song with their guitar solos. To make this release even more compelling, the From Blue to Gray crew enlisted a few a-list guitarists to compose solos. John Matos (Abiotic) on “Forceful Stare”, Dustie Waring (Between The Buried And Me) on “Fractured Reality: Reflection” and Kris Finison (Dagon) on “A Reason to Resonate” build on the melodic foundation and expand the potential of each song.
‘Abstention of Interference’ by From Blue To Gray showcases a band making distinctively heavy music within the context of progressive heavy metal. Vivid arrangements are brought to life with a combination of crushing power and vocal hostility. Rich songwriting and a solid performance by the band on each cut make this a premiere album of fierce and demanding music.