Written by: MN on 12/06/2013 23:22:55

Palms is a project developed by Chino Moreno, the ever-praised lead singer of Deftones along with the now disbanded members of post-metal aficionados ISIS. This sort of collaboration leads directly to an imagination of Moreno's tenor vocals floating above ISIS' signature heavy and slow-tempo metal characterized by an ambience both confident and melancholic. Although this pairing may kindle to the tastes of many, such is not the case with Palms. This project does contain elements of Chino Moreno's Deftones accomplishments and ISIS's use of drone and refrain, but the final product does not contain fast riffage or heartwrenching screams, it is thus a softer, more athmospherical sound that is at times cosmic in nature, other times very meditative in tone. Most of the songs are gradual in the sense that they start with a low intensity and eventually evolve into a larger than life sound that embraces you. The guitarist Bryant Clifford Meyer, as he has done plenty of times in ISIS, proves to be a genius at using the guitar's tone and distortion level to create layers in the soundscape, this of course complemented by Jeff Caxide's thunderous bass. The drumming contains some great chime sounds of cymbals above the slow determined drumline.

The album contains 6 tracks which may seem like an inadequate amount for a full-length LP, but each song does also tally at between 7-10 minutes a piece. The opener is "Future Warrior" which immerses as a synthridden song with tribal drumming, but eventually the clean guitars and the instantly recognizeable soothing tenor vocals of Chino Moreno emerge, the song may be a bit slow-winded at first, but it makes up for it with a bombastic finish that sees all elements of Palm play into a higher entity. "Patagonia" sees Jeff's bass work take center stage in yet another cumulative effort that sees the intensity rise into a final climax. One of the first prime highlights is the immensely cogitative track "Mission Sunset" which contains some of the most contagious vocal lines and some almost jazzy moments. "Tropics" yet again uses some successful drone effects and is the most relaxing track with the most positive mood, echoing serenity with reborn energy. The album is eventually concluded with yet another highlight, "Antarctic Handshake" developes very slow, but uses minimalist sounds and echoing instrumentation. The listener is made witness to some musicians that utilize the multi-layered dimensions of their respective instruments to an impressive extent. Fans of post-rock/metal or general progresssive instrumental rock will smile in glee at this final production. There is a radical shift in tone in this final track of the album, as the band plays a form of denouement to the production, containing some warm and dark guitar drone and grand use of cymbals.

Palm's debut album took a couple of listens to win me over, but it finally provided a cathartic yet elusive soundtrack reminding me of some of the best of post-metal/rock bands like Pelican and Explosions In The Sky. They definitely have gotten a good grip on their instruments, and it only gets better by Chino Moreno's seasoned vocals. There are times, however, where the songs could use some more dynamic elements and tempo shifts, I rarely felt surprised by the development of the songs, some more experimentation is perhaps more my cup of tea, but the fans of post-anything will most likely enjoy this record. It is definitely worth checking out.

Download: Future Warrior, Mission Sunset, Antarctic Handshake
For The Fans Of: ISIS, Neurosis, Explosions In The Sky

Release Date 25.06.2013
Ipecac Recordings

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