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Album Review
Agraceful - The Great I Am Album Cover

Agraceful - The Great I Am

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7.1
Agraceful - The Great I Am
Record Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date: August 19, 2008
In late 2007, there were a couple bands we were sure to see the end of. First was the up-and-coming screamo hopefuls Emarosa, who parted ways with their vocalist Chris Roetter, and the second was Dance Gavin Dance, who had recently shed their lead vocalist Johnny Craig. Craig went on to work with Emarosa, leaving Roetter to find and adopt a project of his own. Not much later, we saw the birth of Agraceful. Agraceful burst onto the scene in Dayton (one not far from me) playing with such large acts as Norma Jean and all of the artists on this years massive Scream The Prayer tour not long after their formation. They signed quickly, without releasing so much as an EP, and released their debut album The Great I Am on Sumerian Records.

One of the premier (rumored) reasons that Roetter left Emarosa was so that he could pursue a project that had a more religious foundation. Thus, we have many Christian-minded lyrics on The Great I Am. They're not blatant, and they've usually got some style, but for people that dislike the Christian message, they'd be a turn-off. They're not beating you over the head with the message, but at the same time, you know what it is they're writing for, and it gives the album some definite class. In a time where it seems like most Christian bands either feel the need to deeply ingratiate their message into your mind or to completely disregard the religion they're supposed to be embracing, Agraceful is a breath of fresh air.

The vocals of the album are one of the main highlights, and they dominate the tracks. Whether it's Roetter's screamed, growled, or sung vocals, they impress. While the screams do border on grating in some places, they mostly fit it well, and the vocals are mixed up quite well; you get solid doses of all three of the vocal techniques. The growls are particularly impressive. It's not that they're anything new, it's just that Roetter's happen to have a great sound. The clean vocals, while good, aren't anything new either, and they're basically a re-hash of The Devil Wears Prada's sung vocals. The instrumentation on the album isn't really anything groundbreaking, but the musicians do have some talent. As far as instrumentation goes, they're farther from the aforementioned The Devil Wears Prada, and closer to the more melodic and atmospheric feel of Oceana. They've still got a bite, but they do well to keep it away from the standard instrumentation of most screamo releases. They've also strayed away from the breakdown-breakdown-breakdown formula that has come to be a staple in this genre. While the vocals may get heavier in parts, and the music may do the same, they don't have to rely on a breakdown to get their sound across.

They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and that seems like the truth with Agraceful. While Johnny Craig made a complete genre transformation with his move to Emarosa, Roetter's new project is very comparable to his old one. And why not? I can't blame him for doing what he does well. Basically what I'm saying is if you think you'd enjoy a more mature and interesting version of the old Emarosa, then look no farther than Agraceful. However, if you didn't enjoy them before their line-up change, then you'd be best to stay away from Roetter's new project. While I didn't like the fact that Roetter ever left Emarosa, I have to say, this is one line-up change that actually worked out perfectly.

Recommended if You LikeOceana; In Fear and Faith; old Emarosa; The Devil Wears Prada

myspace.com/agraceful

originally posted at highbeamreview.com on August 25, 2008
This review is a user submitted review from Klatzke. You can see all of Klatzke's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
05:31 PM on 12/10/08
#2
thursday8605
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flawed review, this album is brilliant
05:58 PM on 12/10/08
#3
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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flawed review, this album is brilliant
As I stated in the review in a few places, just not with the word brilliant.
Read the words, not just the score.

And if we're playing that,

Flawed statement, that's an opinion.
06:05 PM on 12/11/08
#4
thursday8605
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i will change punctuation then. Flawed review. This is a brilliant album. Nothing against you, well written and everything, I just feel it is a lot better than some people give credit for... I mean, if they have even heard of them.
06:07 PM on 12/11/08
#5
thursday8605
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And if u said u love the vocals so much, why such a low score? personally in terms of screams, growls, etc., i could put it up there as one of the better, more tolerable ones around.
06:08 PM on 12/11/08
#6
thursday8605
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oh, and i love you.
04:32 AM on 12/12/08
#7
TellYourFriends
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The Great I Am is such a good song.
07:43 AM on 12/12/08
#8
leftapart
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Although I did enjoy this album, I found it a bit disappointing in comparison to the demos they released prior to getting signed. Anyone else agree with me? But I thought this was a good and accurate review. There is nothing new being introduced on this album, in terms of what other bands in the scene are doing, but Agraceful conquers this task damn well. I much prefer this to the new Emarosa.
11:47 AM on 12/12/08
#9
batmannj
"No more half measures Walt"
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Although I did enjoy this album, I found it a bit disappointing in comparison to the demos they released prior to getting signed. Anyone else agree with me? But I thought this was a good and accurate review. There is nothing new being introduced on this album, in terms of what other bands in the scene are doing, but Agraceful conquers this task damn well. I much prefer this to the new Emarosa.
i agree with everything but this being disappointing in comparison to their early demos. i loved both equally so its a push for me. but everything else i agree with entirely.

good review.
12:37 PM on 12/12/08
Klatzke
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I think the vocals should have been scored higher, whoever said that. The score did come out a little low for this one, on the original site I believe I gave it a 7 or 8 out of 10.
06:40 PM on 12/13/08
White
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Emarosa's "This Is Your Way" Out pwns the everliving, motherfucking shit out of Agraceful's "The Great I Am." Though I do enjoy this album. "This Is Your Way Out" is just one of the sexiest things I've ever heard.
06:46 PM on 12/13/08
Klatzke
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Emarosa's "This Is Your Way" Out pwns the everliving, motherfucking shit out of Agraceful's "The Great I Am." Though I do enjoy this album. "This Is Your Way Out" is just one of the sexiest things I've ever heard.
I do like that ep..
08:44 PM on 12/18/08
crazytoledo
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Emarosa always sucked, this however, is a lot better.
08:22 PM on 05/22/09
PureBlueSF
ur not even pop punk
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Pretty good album.

But here's something from their last.fm page that made me lol:

"Agraceful is an Christian Post-Hardcore/Metalcore/Singer beats his wife five piece from Dayten, ohio. they was signed to Sumerian Records. Initally, the band started as an side-project for vocalist Chris(ex- wife beater, now in rehab), as he was originally dating Emarosa, however, after a nuclear fallout, Agraceful became a pretty cool guy, and left Emarosa. Shortly after in mid 2003, Kasey and Rick joined Agraceful in his quest to become an super satan, after their band, Here I Come Rising (Fall), split up.

Sadly, In the cold, cold Winter of 2005, Kasey ran out of hairspray and was forced to leave Agraceful in his quest for rainbow gold. Lil’ Drumma boi Steven also left due to lack of love for tru scramo lyk agraceful is like.

Scramo will live until it dont no more."
02:03 AM on 06/25/09
Dempsey
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Huge fan of Chris' voice, I never heard him growling and i never even thought it would sound that good, the lyrics and vocals really make their songs, But i still enjoy the songs of him in Emarosa more than the ones hes making in Agraceful now. I am christian but i dont think every song has to be about belief. Still, this is my second favourite album ever, right behind This Is Your Way Out which was amazing.

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