Beautiful Gray Day

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Longtime goth outfit Leper deliver a set of dark songs creatively weaving acoustic and electronic elements. Leadman Skot Shaw broods over an intertextual palette of acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, electronic beats, etc. That palette is complicated and further darkened by vocal samples and vocal distortions. On songs like the closer “The Way It All Unfolds,” the acoustic elements prevail. On songs like “The Artist in You,” the electronic elements overwhelm to industrial rock in the vein of NIN. Shaw’s lyrics give reason for the bleak mood; harping on death, torment and suffering with bitter clarity and religious imagery. From start to finish, Beautiful Gray Day riffs on a fairly steady mood in a fairly steady way – making it an album suited only for downhearted sensibilities. And yet, it is not all bleak for Shaw. In the midst of torment, Shaw hopefully promises “I will pray…” Further, the aptly titled lament, “I Hate Everything,” ends on a hopeful note: “…it’s a beautiful gray day; I don’t have to face it alone, even when there’s nobody home.” With these small glimmers of hope amidst darkness, Shaw reminds us that hope is not lost.


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