*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*
This month’s state is Maryland!
Welcome to the final installment of this months SOTA! I thought I would end this one with an artist that I believe will quite literally blow your mind. This is songwriting at its highest conceivable level, but what is most remarkable, is the fact that it is solely the work of one man! From Baltimore, Maryland, let me welcome the technical/blackened deathcore project Greylotus. January saw the release of the explosive debut EP ‘Savior’ which in my opinion is undoubtedly one of the most exciting releases of this year (up there with the likes of Inferi and Slugdge who have both dropped AOTY contenders) and forms the first part of a total 3 installments. Collectively the 3 EPs will form Greylotus’ debut full-length album, with work already underway on the second installement ‘Dawnfall’.
Founded and written by Ben Towles, Greylotus takes tech to the next level, interweaving evocative symphonic elements packed full of intense atmosphere, amongst blisteringly technical fretwork with riffs that are at the same time as mesmerizing as they are inconceivably complex. Towles has created a symbiosis of extreme passion and raw emotion that is equally adrenaline fueling as beautifully soul-wrenching, with the added element of deathcore vocals– but as you will see, the songs have a much deeper meaning to them than is at first obvious to the listener.
As Towles explains “This album goes into vivid detail about my recent struggles with mental health, but more importantly how I overcame thoughts of worthlessness and self-harm through self-discovery. I hope to inspire others who may be struggling with similar issues to follow the same path!”
It is clear to hear in the music the intense emotions that Towles must have experienced which thankfully he was able to overcome. As someone who has had first hand experience with this kind of mental health condition, I can say that from my personal experience it is both all consuming and exhilarating. You are fighting inward battles against yourself, experiencing a broad range of emotions despite an overwhelming feeling of numbness, that ultimately leads to an insatiable desire for ‘release’. A well-known fact is that we are at our most creative during these extreme times, which can either be channeled negatively into self-destruction or positively by leading to a journey self-discovery. The music of Greylotus serves as a fantastic tech record in itself, but also serves as a huge inspiration to those who may be in the grips of a crisis. You can completely loose yourself amongst it’s intricacies and power, but once you understand what it really represents, it is wholly encapsulating in the way that it stands as a testament to what can be achieved through embracing and excepting ones self. Anything is possible.
On the 3 EPs – “We have a suite broken into three EPs, each an evolution of the previous — an overarching theme of growth, discovery of the present, and acceptance of the self and of reality, illustrated through the metaphor of the lotus’ life-cycle. SAVIOR, the first EP of the three, illuminated the concept of being shelled in by ones own insecurities and traumatic experiences, and how to overcome the resultant pressures of subconscious demons that are born from these; buried under the lake’s mud within the walls of the seed.” – Ben Towles
‘Savior’ is available via Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.