When it comes down to atmospheric black metal, it’s hard to find a good mix between atmosphere and the actual black metal where the end result is pretty good. Gray Souvenirs definitely aren’t the first band to try the mix that they’ve done with “Serena”, but they are one of the few that managed to pull it off quite well.
Much like doom metal, this genre is known to normally have fairly long tracks and “Serena” does not stray from that fact in any way. Over an hour long run time with seven tracks, this album fnds a really good balance between the atmosphere and metal as they seem to be distributed in near perfect amounts so that one does not outweigh the other, which is a fairly difficult thing to do if you ask me. “Serena”, however, decides to take their atmosphere in a more enlightening way despite most bands going the opposite direction of going for dark and powerful atmospheric effects, but Gray Souvenirs goes for something that feels like it takes you to a higher plane of existentialism only to throw you back down into a blast of black metal that isn’t as intense as I personally prefer but is still undoubtedly well done. The vocals were shrill as you’d expect with fast guitars, a bass that really added a good feel in the background while the drums provided a good beat throughout the whole album to give “Serena” a good tempo. However, even though all of that was awesome and worked out well, these songs just felt so drawn out to me as if it were butter spread over too much bread; too little for so much.
No album is without an issue or two, and Gray Souvenirs aren’t any different, but to me this seems to be the kind of band that can and will find a way to fix the kinks of their music to eventually come back with something mind blowing. I’ve no idea how or when that will happen, but “Serena” is a more than good enough album to keep us interested until then.
LISTEN to “Serena” on Bandcamp here or via YouTube below.
LIKE Gray Souvenirs on Facebook here.