Twilight Haunt is an album that has been affecting me since before it was originally released in 1999 on CD by East Coast Empire (who I believe is now defunct), and when a demo of this was sent to the place that I worked at back then, I stole it from the owner’s “I am not paying attention to this pile” and listened to it obsessively for several weeks following my sinful act of theft (and with absolutely no remorse at all); over the years, I have always considered it a shame that this record never received the vinyl treatment because aside from the sweet tunes that the album contains the artwork deserved a better fate than being jammed onto a CD layout template, and now, that day is here.
For those who have never had the pleasure of this particular gift of art from Pale Creation (or any of their recorded catalog for that matter), this band hails from the same Cleveland (Ohio in the states kiddies… this is where Lake Erie caught fire according to popular folk lore) scene that birthed Integrity; and while that may give you a small inkling into what Pale Creation sounds like, to only lump the band in with that sound or headspace is a huge disservice to the unique qualities that these guys bring to the table, particularly with Twilight Haunt.
The churning, mechanistic beauty of “Silence Effervesce” manages to significantly through me for a loop even after all these years before giving way to the manic crush of “Manifest In Me” that seems less a purposeful bludgeoning of the listener than it is the sound of a band (and a singer in particular) doing their damndest to jump out of their skin, and as the strumming of the opening chords of “Nightburned” begin, this feeling starts nagging at the back of my mind that just maybe there is this barely perceptible beauty hiding amongst the metallic violence and screaming chants that erupt across the songs like a volcano. Seriously, the vocals and music fit each other so well and the arrangements add a completely separate layer to the songs (see the vocal interplay on the title track for one example), while the band toss weird time signatures in at just the right moments to completely discombobulate everything without interrupting the actual flow of the record; as Twilight Haunt continues to re-impress me song after song, my nagging thought behind all of my head bobbing and enjoyment of the music is the realization that the underrated nature and lack of appreciation that Pale Creation receives is down right criminal.
Thinking about how long this album has actually been out is rather mind bending because Twilight Haunt sounds every bit as fresh as the day that I first heard it on CD (put on “Trade A Soul”, my favorite track on the record, and prove me wrong) with Pale Creation providing a unique amalgamation of lots of almost familiar sounds that allows them to lay some of the most conflicted music you are likely to hear (conflicted because this album sounds so negative or angry in execution but feels more like a righteous or positive anger); still, all I can say is thankfully someone wised up and released Pale Creation’s Twilight Haunt on album, where it always belonged.
8.0 / 10
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