Gig Seeker Pro



Band Metal Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Grayceon - 'Grayceon' (Vendlus)"

Billing Grayceon as ‘Jackie Gratz from Amber Asylum’s metal band’ is a bit of a misnomer. The guitar/drums/cello instrumentation driving this band falls outside metal’s confines, as does guitarist Max Doyle’s finger-picking style, masterful as it may be. There are, however, moments of pure metallic bombast provided by Zack Farwell’s punishing battery, while the eerie moan of Gratz’s cello trading off with Doyle places heavier, uptempo tracks like ‘Song For You’ somewhere in line with Apocolyptica, Neurosis, and neo-classical thrash of The Fucking Champs. Excellent, regardless what you call it. - Terrorizer Magazine

"Smorgasbord anyone?"

The End Records is slipping. They nabbed Giant Squid, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Estradasphere, but somehow missed Grayceon. How could this be? Are the stars misaligned? Well, what The End blunders, Vendlus benefits, ’cause Grayceon’s potluck rock is captivating, smart and challenging. It’s the sort of left-of-center approach to heavy (mental) music that comes out of Eastern Europe, but considering the acid-soaked specter of Haight-Asbury still haunts San Fran’s music scene, Grayceon are wondrously peculiar in all the right places.

Comprised of Amber Asylum and Walken members, this is a power trio of a different magnitude—cellist/vocalist Jackie Perez Gratz is prominently featured throughout, fluently weaving in and out of guitarist Max Doyle’s skronk-folk and Zack Farwell’s unobtrusive but excellently played percussion work. Frolicking comfortably somewhere between the post-rock of Slint, the Canterbury Sound, King Crimson (In the Wake of Poseidon-era) and Neurosis-like semi-dirges, Grayceon’s four-song, 45-minute debut isn’t too far removed from unsung Czech wonder-kids Silent Stream of Godless Elegy. While not metallic or aggressive, Grayceon’s no slouch. Nor are they particularly progressive in traditionalist’s thinking. The last 30 minutes of the album are dense, diverse and dynamic, as well as organic, open and warm. It’s the kind of music for kids in tight pants to feel “worldly” to, or roan-haired prog-heads to come back to Earth for a minute or two. If you can imagine a group as much at home with Beggars Opera as they are Isis, Grayceon’s oddball, inviting style should be more familiar than foreign.

—Chris Dick
- Decibel Magazine

"Grayceon - Debut Album"

I never know what to expect from Vendlus Records. From the industrial black metal of V:28, the completely unclassifiable musings of Especially Likely Sloth, the folk art of The Mist and Morning Dew, the black metal excellence of Wolves In The Throne Room or even Audiopain re-issues, the label defies pigeonholing. However, with Grayceon the label has hit on a more classifiable but still brilliant record that should see the label finally grace my year end list.
This magnificent, largely instrumental three piece is driven by the cellos and occasional voice of Jackie Perez Gratz who currently serves in Giant Squid and Amber Asylum as well as appearing on records by Tribes of Neurot, Ludicra, Today Is The Day, Asunder, Jarboe and Hammers of Misfortune. That litany there, might give you an idea as to the band’s sound; Proggy, cello backed mix of doom, drone, post rock, thrash that brought to my mind Apocalyptica clashing with Neurosis. While Gratz delivers some supine vocals in the way of delicate singing, she is occasionally backed by guitarist Max Doyle (Walken), but the vocals only serve to add ethereal atmosphere to the already lucid music.

With the exception of the 3-minute rollicking burst of “Song For You”, the 4 tracks are sprawling, majestic and evocative anthems of ebbing and flowing artistry. Not simply 3 chord drone backed by a cello, the songs shift and shimmer in mood and an almost lullaby inflection with Gratz’s cello and Doyle’s guitars which shift from subtle, cello complementing acoustics to vigorous Prog rock riffage. The first song, “Sounds Like Thunder” shows these shifts perfectly as the cello and acoustics build into stern, urgent lumber, then collapsing breathlessly in a delicate climax. The 13 minute “Into the Deep”, (arguably one of my favorite songs of this young year), is a simply gorgeous exposition of delicate strumming and hypnotic interplay between cello and guitar as well as Gratz and Doyle’s voices. The track even crescendos into a pure instrumental thrash number before Gratz takes the song beautifully into a cello filled, enveloping softness. The first few lullaby-ish moments of 20 minute closer, “Ride” (arguably one of my other favorite songs of the year) are simply exhaustingly beautiful and when it enters a urgent, yet still mesmerizing gait about 6 minutes in, its still is just breathtaking, all the way to the dual vocals of the songs last few surprisingly playful minutes.

I’m not entirely sure if I can convey how truly beautiful parts of this album are, while still retaining a ‘metalness’ that fans of some of the bands above can still appreciate. The rare but superbly placed and delivered vocals, make this more than the instrumental album that it really is at heart and garnish the already brilliantly evocative album with tangible human emotion.

Grayceon is absolutely fucking fantastic and early contender for my album of the year.

--By Erik Thomas

"Grayceon - Album of the Month"

For those two and half of you who actually might be reading my reviews I hear you in my head complaining about their length recently, so let me get straight to facts. Grayceon come from Northern California, they do have a cello among the trio of instruments, but instead of being a stuck-up chamber troupe I have a feeling they would play your neighborhood bar just as likely as they would play a philharmonic hall. They are wonderful musicians, but their music does not follow any canons as to how it has to sound when they have a classical instrument, instead this is all one free-flowing spontaneous jam, which I am sure required lots of thought and preparation. Most importantly, they don’t just push the creative envelope, they simply take it and shove it hard across the boundaries of multiple music genres, labels and tags be damned.

Max Doyle (guitar), Zack Farwell (drums), both also of Walken, have lured Jackie Perez-Gratz (master cellist), of many acts, but most recently Giant Squid and Asunder. While coloring and adding texture to many an act, with Grayceon Jackie gets a chance to be at the center stage, to put an everlasting stamp on the sound, all the while enjoying an unbelievable dynamics with Max’s guitar.

I’d play Grayceon’s self-titled debut to some of your friends who appreciate complexity in music and challenge them to come up with the number of players in a band. My bet they would never get they are hearing a trio. Most amazingly, there is no bass guitar on a record, but who needs it when there is a cello here, tuned an octave or so below any other members of the viola family. Trading off the lead vs. base and rhythmic duties with the guitar, all surrounded with the freakiest, syncopated and maddening percussion, Jackie, Max and Zack create a number of constantly changing speed bordering on dissonance quandary, which may only seem like a mess on the surface, but making all kinds of sense once you tune in. Although this is mostly instrumental music, both Jackie and Max contribute their vocals, mostly of clean and serene variety creating all kinds of beautiful polyphony when necessary.

With Grayceon we go through the span of many styles and melodies. From sad, heart-string tugging melodies at the beginning of Sounds Like Thunder and Into the Deep to the latter song breaking out with a gypsy dance before collapsing in a slow dramatic finish, from the ominous cymbal and acoustics anticipation to rocking gallop ruckus in Ride, from meandering finger-picking jam to heavy riffing on Into the Deep, from funeral marches on Into the Deep to fast folky thrash on Song for You, from Neurosis to Giant Squid to Skyclad to Scorpions – this album has got it all, I have simply run out of epithets.

If you are satisfied with the conventional metal music, most definitely pass on this rocker. You will not find standard song structures or songs per se here, period. Strangely enough, the records like this generally need quite a bit of time to sink in for me, but not Grayceon, because never mind its musicianship and complexity, it still got a heap of almost boyish infectious enthusiasm, not to mention a ton of great melodies, so it captivates from start to finish. Here is some of the most imaginative music I have heard in a while, without being snobby or over the top.

Killing Songs : I liked it all
Overall Rating: 90 /100

"Grayceon - Self-Titled"

There needs to be more bands like Grayceon. A hint of King Crimson, a dash of Ved Buens Ende, a splash of Pelican and perhaps even a whiff of Dysrythmia, and you’re not even close. A point of departure is hard to find for Grayceon, yet the music sounds oddly familiar and not at all alien, even though the individual parts are challenging and ambitious.

Grayceon is Jackie Perez Gratz from Amber Asylum on electric cello and vocals - Max Doyle on guitar and vocals, and Zack Farwell plays the drums. The trio creates mostly instrumental music, with the occasional vocal passage, based on rock structures with the addition of the cello. Mind you, this doesn’t sound like My Dying Bride, or Theatre of Tragedy; this is a cello, not a violin. The music is ethereal, honest and raw. It rocks like a post-rock band one moment, and then lulls you in the same fashion Tin Hat Trio would the next.

Sometimes bands are truly indescribable. Not because they are unique, but because their sincerity and passion set them apart, and makes them more than what a couple sentences strung together can say. Grayceon is one of those bands. With the post-rock trend absolutely exploding over the last few years, Grayceon steps in, and brings something new, something fresh and livens up the dull and predictable formulas that others seem to be stuck in, all the while, never really subscribing to one group, or set of theories.

[] - Metal Maniacs Magazine

"Live Review - 3/22/07 Giant Squid, Grayceon, & Llange @ Radio Radio, Indianapolis, IN"

...Second in the lineup were Gracyeon, hailing from San Francisco, California, and comprised of a unique trio of musicians. The band features cello, guitar, and drums as well as the haunting voices of Jackie Perez Gratz and Max Doyle. Grayceon spun epic melodies, intertwining finger-picking guitar notes and somber cello lines over manic rolls and changes from Zack Farwell’s powerhouse drumming. Suddenly, the music lurches into a groove and Doyle is riffing between gallop chugs and pinch harmonics (still not using a pick) – ridiculous! For further listening check out Grayceon’s self-titled album on Vendulus Records, and Gratz can also be heard on the latest Asunder record, entitled Works Will Come Undone, on Profound Lore Records. Highly recommended!!! More information can also be obtained at -

"Grayceon - Experimentally Epic"

Fans of Giant Squid and Amber Asylum will recognize the name of cellist Jackie Perez Gratz. Those who don't will never forget it after hearing the genre smashing anomaly known as Grayceon. Rounded out my Walken members Zack Farwell and Max Doyle, Grayceon has created a sound that comes across as both awe inspiring and boldly unique. Refusing to stand still long enough to be lumped into any particular category, Grayceon plays hopscotch across the boundaries of both style and emotion, and builds a richly textured wall of sound so thick that it's a shock to know that this is a band with only three members. One moment melancholic, the next maddening, the sonic web woven by the cello/guitar combo is mond-boggling in its innovation and intricacy. Similarly, the harmonized vocals of Gratz and Doyle fuse together with haunting results. The fast paced "Song for You" is Romanian folk music's answer to thrash metal, while the more measured "Sounds Like Thunder" creates feelings of both doom and enlightenment all in the same series of moments. Clocking in at exactly 20 minutes, the epic "Ride" is a journey th at leads down many paths, but definitely worthwhile in the end. Expanding a vast musical universe that gets deeper with each listen, the is your new favortire record. 9/10 -Ryan Ogle - Outburn Magazine

"Grayceon - Get In On The Ground Floor"

Popular music, even in its more collegiate forms, rarely provides the listener with something more substantial than a good beat to dance to.

Thank god for numerous experimental enclaves around the world.

One city renowned for its tolerance toward the fusion of rock and avant garde is San Francisco, a city partially responsible for the self-titled debut album from Grayceon.

Few other locales could combine guitarist Max Doyle and drummer Zack Farwell (from the smart-ass metal band Walken) with cellist Jackie Perez Gratz (from the smarty-pants post-rockers AmberAsylum) and actually have the collaboration make sense.

The album consists of only four songs, opening with “Sounds Like Thunder.” Gratz's mournful cello lines provide a calmer perch for Doyle and Farwell to roost on than in Walken – but without sacrificing any intensity.

Instead, the duo shift that same energy into Doyle’s melodic, almost medieval guitar lines and Farwell’s restrained yet forceful drum work, which explodes at the halfway mark as if he is unable to control himself for longer than four minutes. He’s a drummer on par with a young Dave Grohl on too many Red Bulls.

The band really starts cooking with gas on “Song For You,” which grafts the aural qualities of European spy0movie scores from the ‘70s with speedcore drumming. It is an awfully rich mixture, especially for the shortest song on the album. But in Grayceon’s collective hands, it works.

These elements are what’s truly refreshing about the band. Given the propensity for longer, more fleshed out pieces – and all of the twists and turns such pieces demand – the band is still palatable to average listeners who would normally be frightened away by the phrase “avant garde.”

And that’s a real shame.

Granted, not everyone prefers Yoko Ono over John Lennon – and for really understandable reasons – but avant garde has turned up amazingly interesting records that are heard by only a handful of musical thrill seekers instead of thousands who would actually enjoy them.

Among these listeners are the likes of Radiohead, Sonic Youth, and Tool, who smooth out the rough edges and transform the avant garde into the alternative.

So here’s your shot with Grayceon. Get in on the ground floor this time.

- Rick Allen

- The Other (Columbus, OH Weekly)

"Grayceon - Wet Your Panties"

Ah, I suppose its time for you Amber Asylum fanboys whom have an affinity for metal to wet your panties because Jackie Perez Gratz is back and she's tearing it up with her electric cello in San Fransisco's very own new progressive project Grayceon. It's hard to label this album as being one way or another. Its a fairly unique mixture of progressive rock, metal, and neoclassical music. I'm not sure exactly what you would call something like this but it sounds like a perfect mixture of Giant Squid, Autumn Tears, and Pelican. Three very different bands, but that's what makes a new entity in the music world these days.

Grayceon is a project lost in the hazing boundaries of the record industries' incessant need to label beautiful music. It is in this haze though that the band belongs, as the music is filled with a distinct atmosphere that averts any attempt to confine it. They seem to flow endlessly and effortlessly in and out of colors and molds that people like myself have spent so long trying to form. It is imperative to understand that when you buy this release you are not just buying another album. You are buying a work of art that three musicians have put much effort into creating. This music is brutal on the soul, especially for someone whom has spent so much of their life trying to create beautiful but experimental music, something outside the mold, and above all something talented that would make the rest of the world stand shocked by the end of the first track.

So where does one draw the lines? Where does one attempt to throw the stone? I guess its impossible on this one. There's no box to think outside of. Grayceon has set the box ablaze and all that is left are the ashes in which you must scatter like the remains of metal's subgenre circus. Congratulations guys. You have completely and utterly dumfounded me. Seperate from the metal though are the haunting bridges and collapses like the beginning of Into the Deep. While retaining an almost bluesy feel, Jackie's cello somehow manages to pull it down to being, well, completely fucking creepy. Most people seem to make the mistake of strictly focusing on Jackie's bow maneuvers though while two equally talented musicians are a large part of this equation. Max Doyle's guitars are not only fascinating in their ability to flow through awkward guitar chords straight into barely distorted power melodies but his vocals are the perfect compliment to Jackie's beautiful soft voice. Then we have Mr. Zack Farwell behind the drum kit whom seems to have studied every note to a tight perfection. Folks, he makes it looks easy. Period. And believe me, progressive music like this is a *ahem* bitch on drums.

Buy it? You bet your ass. Good luck to you Grayceon, you've got a very famous road ahead of you.

Contributed by: Lord Lycan
- Heathen Harvest

"Grayceon - Taking The Progressive Genre One Step Further"

Grayceon are one of the newer prog acts that came out in these recent years that stay true to the progressive rock sound without doing anything that has been done before. This characteristic reminds me of the symphonic prog band Deluge Grander in the sense that they bring new ideas to the table without alienating the listeners.

This is perhaps the first time I've seen a line-up like this in a prog metal genre. Here we have a trio of guitar, drums and a cello! It may look strange on paper, but the cello adds so much more to the sound that it wouldn't be Grayceon if it didn't had it and more if we're talking about Jackie Perez Gratz who has been in bands like Amber Asylum, Giant Squid and contributed with bands like Neurosis and others. The instruments blend evenly and beautifully to create their eloquent and elegant style of progressive "metal". None of the members try to show off. They sound like a single unit and that's one of the good qualities the band has. Also, they don't use effects of some sorts and this gives the album an organic and concrete feel.

The songs very alot in mood and tempo, but they always have a certain theatric feel thanks to the cello and the wonderful vocal duet of Jackie and guitarist Max Doile. Although the vocal parts aren't the main focus in their music it certainly adds to the overall feel and mood of the album. Their music in the longer songs (3/4 of the whole album) flow smoothly while going through various themes and tempo changes without sounding jagged or pasted. Also, even in their heavier parts these guys still sound bearable for people who don't normally listen to metal, but at the same time they get their feelings across nicely. From the mournful moments with the soft guitar and cello to the rabid moments with the drummer, Zack, giving all he's got., Grayceon has no problem showing us what they want us to see and feel. All is done with a certain finesse to it that makes it even more enjoyable. The highlight of the album is definitely their 20 minute epic (the only word suited to describe this wonderful composition) "Ride". It's really amazing how a simple trio with no more than one instrument each and no effects of sorts can makes this song so colorful and vivid. It's thrilling, full of life, marvelously composed and expressive.

Trying to write their sound in paper isn't an easy task, but the emotions I get while listening to this can be clearly seen. This is easily one of the best releases of this year. People who aren't normally into progressive metal should really give Grayceon a try and also everyone who's looking for the ones stretching progressive rock farther, Grayceon are one of the bands making it happen. I won't give this album a 5 stars now only because for me to give it the highest rating it needs to stand the test of time, but I won't feel bad giving it a 4.9.

Innovation at its finest.

- Prog Archives


2006 - Demo EP, Untitled (self-released)
2007 - CD, Grayceon/Grayceon (Vendlus Records)
2007 - 7" vinyl Grayceon/Giant Squid Split (The End Records)



Grayceon is an atypical three-piece from San Francisco comprised of electric cello, guitar, drums, and vocals. Pulling together an extremely diverse range of musical influences and writing styles, Grayceon’s fresh sound defies the boundaries of the metal/rock/progressive genres. Screaming melodic lines over distinct guitar “chunk,” doom riffs, jazz chord progressions, intricate folk-like delicacies, and just about everything in between can be found in a single Grayceon track. The cello proficiency and the guitar finger picking style alone are unprecedented in heavy music. And although the vocals are sparse and the drumming unconventional, all elements are intertwined effortlessly to give the arrangements a fluid feel that may not be present in less able hands. Compared to Opeth, King Crimson, and Ved Buens Ende, not in sound but in 'feel', Grayceon embraces the hard-to-describe-them definition and pushes boundaries even further by occasionally throwing in a bass riff or vocal line by other artists as varied as Fleetwood Mac and Scorpions. But don’t ‘blink,’ the moment a passage like these becomes recognizable it is long gone. Alternate low tuning both on cello and guitar also contribute to their unique sound.

Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, Grayceon introduced themselves to the stage in 2006 with a two-track demo. Non-stop performing and self-promotion with the demo landed them a record deal and a booking agent within the first few months. Subsequently, they released their self-titled debut album on Vendlus Records in March 2007 and a 7” vinyl split with Giant Squid on The End Records in December 2007. The media has consistently praised Grayceon’s debut album, which was nominated for Sonic Frontier’s Best Underground Album of 2007. It has also appeared on numerous top-ten lists for 2007 in such magazines as Unrestrained! And Decibel. Grayceon plans on recording their sophomore release this coming February, which will also be released by Vendlus in Summer 2008.

Jackie Perez Gratz has performed with AmberAsylum for almost a decade and has released 5 full-length albums and several compilations with them on Relapse/Release Records, Elfenblut, Misanthropy, Black Lotus, Cleopatra, Paradigms, Projekt, Neurot Recordings, and Profound Lore. In addition to AmberAsylum, Jackie has also performed and recorded with luminaries such as Neurosis, Tribes of Neurot, Today is the Day, Steve Von Till, Ludicra, Asunder, Lost Goat, Matmos, Two Gallants, Giant Squid as well as collaborated with members of the legendary Weakling, The Gault, Hammers of Misfortune, and The Fucking Champs.