Reviews Palms Self Titled


Self Titled

Isis may have disbanded in 2010, but that's far from the last we've heard from its members. Though many of them have joined other bands, they have mostly stayed separate from one another, with no more than two ever appearing in the same place. But of course, that's what makes Palms so intriguing--featuring three fifths of Isis (Jeff Caxide, Aaron Harris, and Bryant Clifford Meyer), it's hard not to see the American quartet as part of their direct lineage. And with Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno rounding out the lineup, it's easy to be overawed by the talent that went into their eponymous debut before even hearing it. But don't let that stop you; Palms delivers on every account promised by the legacy of its members.

What's hard not to notice is that Palms take a decidedly unaggressive approach towards post-metal. With all of the downtuned chugging, greasy sludge, and raspy growls thrown by the wayside, there's absolutely nothing that even borders on aurally unpleasant about the sound of this album. While that definitely takes away some of what makes the genre effective for a lot of bands, Palms nonetheless take those compositional styles and imbue them with every ounce of feeling they have. The result is a stunningly affecting series of compositions, combining all of the movement and force of post-metal with the arresting quality of soaring lead vocals.

Seriously, Moreno's vocals really are something to stand in awe of; when he belts it out on the chorus of "Future Warrior" or the closing refrains of "Mission Sunset", you will feel insignificant in comparison to their beauty. Of course, the album's not all about the vocals; the instrumental sections of the album are equally great, if somewhat understated. On the whole, they are much more reminiscent of In the Absence of Truth or Wavering Radiant, ringing with bright clarity and yet somehow very restrained to their barest atmospheric core. The closing half "Antarctic Handshake", one of the few purely instrumental moments on the album, is also one of the most sublime, a difficult task on an album already brimming with artistry.

While they may have a hard time shaking the mantle of "Isis the second", Palms are shaping up to be a formidable act in their own right. Palms is a fantastic (if substantially unsurprising) debut, and hopefully indicative of more to come in the future. Do give this album a listen.

Recommended if you like: IsisRed SparowesPelican

8.5 / 10Sarah
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8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

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