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Palaces: Tarnish

I loved this album so much, I'm afraid I may gush as I write this review. Maybe I loved it because it offers up a kind of heavy metal that I find consistently refreshing and exciting. Like the very best of Mastodon, these guys offer an eclectic range of musical possibilities and performances that bespeak great new excitement and energy. The best thing about this album is its consistently high quality of musicianship. These guys not only play well, they play well together. One example of this is the way the guitar parts lead the way but do not to overwhelm the music. Instead, they play off of the equally exciting drum and bass lines. Just listen to the relationship between the drums and the bass lines on any of these tracks for examples of what I mean. There were times when the playfulness between bass and drums reminded me of the best of bands like Rush and Iron Maiden. The drums are cool because they don't merely keep the beat. Instead, they find ways to push the beat forward by filling in spaces between beats. The vocals, somewhat on the harsh side, also blend well with the music as a whole. More and more bands these days are mixing their music so that no one musician has the bulk of the sound. I admire that, especially when the music is good enough to sustain my interest.

I've never heard of Palaces before, but their sound is most likely compatible with bands like Red Fang, Black Tusk, Mastodon, and others. I wouldn't call this stoner metal exactly, mostly because there's a touch of post-metal here, but these guys definitely bear a family resemblance to bands in the stoner / sludge arena. For anyone curious to sample these guys, I'd recommend tracks like "Idiom," "Lightning Streams on Pause," and "Waterforms." I hope this album will find a wide audience.

Track Listing:
1. Awl
2. Born of Swan
3. Idiom
4. Lightning Streams on Pause
5. Mirrors
6. One
7. Waterforms
8. You are the Plague

Added: December 21st 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1944
Language: english

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