It’s funny how different areas of the United States have become known for varying genres of metal music. You have “Bay Area” Thrash, Florida Death Metal, and New York Hardcore just to name a few. I think Atlanta may be another hot bed of sound for quality Metal. At least, it’s easy to tell the guys from Palaces are working hard to make it happen with their debut album “Tarnish.”
When I first put “Tarnish” on, I almost immediately picked up on the Atlanta metal vibe similar to older Mastodon. Make no mistake though, Palaces is not a Mastodon wanna be band. Palaces firmly have their feet planted in their own sound, doing things their own way.
Palaces defines their music as “…music from a group of people who really only care that they love it. This is heart, honesty, anger, and an entire lifetime of love for this craft.” You can actually hear the love of the craft in the music too. With Tarnish, Palaces fit somewhere between old-school sludge-metal and noise rock, with a slight dash of death metal sound thrown in.
All songs on “Tarnish” pound in your ears with blistering drums, lightning guitars and howling, throaty vocals. Just when you think your ears can’t take any more of the speed and the heavy, the guys slow things down a notch by kicking into more melodic, sludgy metal. They only give a short reprise from the sonic deafness though as they quickly kick the speed back up to a blistering pace. Notable tracks of this caliber are “Lightning Streams On Pause” and “Mirrors.”
One very minor issue I have with “Tranish” was with listening to the album straight through. I did find my attention drifting away from the music at times. A little bit more variety between various songs would be an added benefit.
I will also comment about packaging, which is something I don’t usually make note of. We received the LP version of “Tarnish” and it is quite an impressive package. It comes with a slick, marble looking vinyl LP, screen-printed jacket and a mini poster that doubles as a lyric sheet. Well worth the $12 if you are a fan of vinyl.
Overall I am glad to hear more killer metal coming out of Atlanta and at the level of quality Palaces are cranking out. If you are a fan of aggressive yet melodic metal that will crush your skull, then check out Palaces latest album “Tarnish”. It’s definitely <worth a listen.