After six years, PALACES return with Hellas Chasma
When PALACES released Tarnish back in 2012, it propelled the band and their noise metal grit that reminded me distinctly of Texas’s Brutal Juice. The vocals were manic and the vibrancy of Tarnish gave hints of the criminal instance. This could easily be the musical soundtrack to a serial killer on a rampage. The songs were purposefully sloppy and guitar noise was more for effect than for purpose. This was PALACES on a high.
And then nothing. For six years, the band was MIA with radio silence to follow up and enhance the momentum they created. Out of the blue, the band has returned with a rejuvenated lineup to release Hellas Chasma.
The new album is slightly more technical than past endeavors. I want to say that it is in part because of a band maturity, but it also could be the refreshed lineup featuring new member Jeremy Weeks on bass and vocals paired up with original members Jonathan Balsamo (drums) and Eric Searle (guitars and vocals).
I will not say Hellas Chasma is better or worse than Tarnish, their new stance is more dense and displays a hunger that has built up over the years. The deep undertones of Week’s basslines on “Black Pendant” is thick with pure unadulterated insanity that the rest of the band can do nothing but expand on it.
Balsamo is a beast when it comes to keeping time. His cadence is spot on, especially on a song like “Finger on the Pulse.” Add in Searle’s guitar work of combining precision riffing and delusional guitar blasts to create a raging fullness in this band’s sound. Coming from a three piece, it’s rare. But this band fills in the gaps in a psychedelic madness that it will send you down the rabbit hole. And that is probably where Hellas Chasma and Tarnish differ and Hellas Chasma’s multi-dimensional metal. “06 M7” does bring us into the realm of what Tarnish presented. It goes above and beyond berserker status. The duality in voices, the illusionary guitar riffs, and the powerful production values sends this band over the edge. Now we have the full potential of PALACE’s momentum. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait six more years before another outburst from this Atlanta band. However, it will take a while to fully digest the mayhem Hellas Chasma creates all thanks to thought-out methodology of deconstruction turned into metal demolition.
- Black Pendant
- Dutch Queen Fairytale
- Finger on the Pulse
- Isle of Palms
- Wedge Hammer