Thursday, December 17, 2009
Pale Divine - Thunder Perfect Mind
PsycheDOOMelic is probably the best current label for doom metal, and Pale Divine is a great example of the quality of their output. Pale Divine play a style of doom metal firmly rooted in the 70s and 80s, although they don't necessarily mimick one band in particular so it's difficult to compare them to anybody. Vocalist Greg Diener sounds quite a bit like Scott Reagers or Bobby Liebling or one of those others 80s doomy vocalists that did a good job of imitating Ozzy whilst disregardeing the Birmingham accent. He has a very powerful voice and is crucial to the band's sound, and songs like Dark Knight wouldn't be the same with Diener's lungs.
As for the actual songwriting, I'm reminded of different bands at different points of the album, yet the whole disc still flows consistantly and doesn't really sound mixed up, the band combines their influences well into a sort of doom pot pourri. Opener 'Amplified' is pure, unadultered rock and roll and reminds me more of Bishop than any gloomy doom metal band, even though it still has that deep, low sound to it. However, 'Gods Monsters and Men' actually has a Kyuss (BftRS-era) feel to it, whilst 'Dark Knight' has a strong epic vibe that reminds me of Manilla Road more than anybody else (especially in the fantastic vocal arrangements). Then we have the short, string-picked instrumental 'Dream Flower' that would sound right at home on Sabbath's Masters of Reality in place of Embryo or Orchid, and then John Klein's lead guitar reminds me of some really early bluesy metal, like Pentagram or even Blue Cheer (in tone and delivery).
You might expect the band to sound all over the place, but that isn't the case. This album flows nicely, one superbly well-written song after the other, and the influences are all sewn in well. The PsycheDOOMelic rerelease has two live bonus tracks, and they're both played so perfectly that you can tell this band has rehearsed their asses off. A very tight performance, which tells me two things. One, this band must be excellent live, so if you live in or around Pennsylvania then you should definitely be sure to go to a Pale Divine show, I can guarantee an excellent performance. And two, this being Pale Divine's first album, I'm sure they could have only improved on their later releases, so along with 'Thunder Perfect Mind' I would also recommend checking out their subsequent albums, any real doomheads should not be missing any Pale Divine in their collection.
Oh, and did I mention that Bobby Liebling appears on the last 2 tracks ? :)