Ipecac Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Right from the album cover to the name of the band and the song names, everything about Palms screams atmospheric music. Listening to Palms, too, is like the surrealness of stargazing in the silence of the night, or getting lost in the moment of a swimming or hiking experience: the fact that the band describes itself as a “stargazing” outfit couldn’t have been more apt. For sure, the members of Isis – who form the musical component of Palms – and vocalist Chino Moreno of Deftones have sought to conceive a collective that even though may retain certain musical attributes from their own bands, has its own unique identity.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

And Palms is quite a unique outfit, too. It is not often – if at all – that the word “serene” is used in the context of a rock band, but Palms’ music is nothing if not serene. This music is progressive metal’s answer to chillwave. An album with only six songs, Palms is still 47 minutes long and has just one track less than six minutes. The songs on this album are long, but they have relatively simple structures. The musical interludes linger and seem infinite; because of their mellowness and dulcetness, have an all-consuming hypnotic effect that is almost too easy to surrender to.

Palmshas more in common with ‘80s era goth music in the vein of The Cure and Cocteau Twins (believe it or not) than to the heavier rock sound of either Isis or Deftones. And because of the album’s lengthy and spacey songs, it might seem a tad slow and laidback to some. In spite of this, the album never feels lethargic or prosaic; the music stays gritty throughout even amid the album’s placidness. This is despite the bursts of musical explosions that most of the numbers go through during their course – like a volcano spewing fury in the form of beautiful lava – adding a covert element of surprise to the overall tranquility of the album. On the other hand, considering the force behind the album, it’s absolutely no surprise that it turned out this good.

Rating: A-

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© 2013 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Ipecac Records, and is used for informational purposes only.