Palms review by Palms

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  • Released: Jun 25, 2013
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (45 votes)
Palms: Palms

Sound — 9
This "super group" is made up of Jeff Caxide, Aaron Harris, and Bryant Clifford Meyer of ISIS, with singer Chino Moreno of Deftones. The music provided by the former ISIS members is spacey and relaxing on most of the songs, leading into growling distortion at the end. The music provides mental images of landscapes similar to the album cover, peaceful areas with light clouds tinged with pinks and oranges, with the sense of something much more powerful beyond. Chino Moreno also contributes to this feeling with vocals which feel like they have a large magnitude of emotion and sincerity behind them. The music is highly atmospheric and it is easy to simply relax and get lost in the music.

Lyrics — 7
Chino Moreno's vocals provide an excellent addition to the music, but the lyrics are lacking in depth. Songs like "Patagonia" lack a certain depth that provides a song with much more meaning. The album left me feeling that the lyrics were more about the atmosphere of the song than anything else. That being said, the atmospheric quality of the lyrics is phenomenal, painting pictures of things beyond the physical world or standing on the line between heaven and hell. Skill-wise, Chino Moreno is not lacking. His voice moves through the epic soundscapes without sounding strained or forced. His voice sounds like it has some deeper meaning that I couldn't quite grasp from the lyrics. Moreno's vocals feel right at home among the musical waves and mountains the rest of the band provides.

Overall Impression — 8
This self-titled debut is a great listen for fans of atmospheric, powerful music. The songs "Patagonia" and "Short Wave Radio" stood out as the best tracks on the album, with "Future Soldier" earning an honorable mention. "Short Wave Radio" is my personal favorite on the album, with Moreno's vocals at the end pulling me in emotionally. The last song, "Antartic Handshake" stood out as the weakest track to me, mostly due to the irritating clicking sound throughout the first third of the song that had me checking to make sure my headphones weren't dying. The album has some great music, but it's greatest flaw is that it lacks differentiation between the songs; sometimes I found that I hadn't even noticed that the song had changed. Another flaw with the album is that it only has 6 songs. Although the songs are substantial, ranging from five and a half minutes to ten minutes long, it still feels like the album should have more music on it. Aside from it's flaws, "Palms" is a quality album made by quality musicians, and if I lost this album from my collection I would definitely replace it.

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23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This album is great and it's exactly what you would expect from late Isis sound with Chino doing vocals, but really there's nothing "metal" about this album, so having the "post-metal" thing might throw some people off. Chino, at times on the album, doesn't even sound like Chino (he still sounds awesome, just not his usual rasp). One of the things I was worried about was if Chino would be singing too much and taking away from the music, but that never happened with this and I'm glad. But for anyone thinking this is Isis (as in Oceanic/Panopticon Isis), it's more like Mogwai with a vocalist. (Which there's nothing wrong with that)
    I'd hate to be "that guy", but if there was ever an album to get high to, it's this. It's absolutely incredible to just lay down and relax to.
    I'm looking forward to hearing this! Isis + Chino... honestly how could it NOT be good?
    Carl Hungus
    I think the lyrics are actually pretty good. Maybe I'm in the minority but I found nothing lacking in depth. Chinos vocals are often as vague as they are melodic so its not that much of a departure from his overall style in my opinion.
    Seriously, I've found nothing wrong with the lyrics. Are they as assertive as Chino's previous endeavors? No, but neither is the music. The fourth track of this album ends with "We're staring into heaven, descending into hell." So awesome.
    Yeah, but the same song starts with lines like "I don't know what to say, but I will never leave your side How can you think I could ever say goodbye?", which are kind of cliche.
    I just listened to the entire thing. I wish I had more to say that hasn't already been said: post-Panopticon Isis + freaking Chino Moreno = what more could you possibly want? I enjoyed it so much that it almost makes the fact that the true Isis is gone easier to bear!
    I'm always weirded out when people take away points for lyrics, unless they're just flat out bad or poorly written. Ambient/atmospheric music is more about the journey than the pay off anyway, so I don't understand the sense that everything has to be about something. If it's just me, and that really is a knock against Chino, that's nothing new. He's always written like that, really.
    The more you listen the better it gets. There is good argument for the use of less structure these days... They are taking you on a journey not trying to conquer billboard.
    I never listened to Isis and didn't fell for Deftones, but I must say that music is really ear pleasuring. I might go check the earlier work of both bands because of that.
    If you were never big into Deftones, but like Palms, don't go after Deftones earlier stuff, as it was more aggressive. Their more recent stuff (Diamond Eyes and Koi) have more atmospheric stuff than earlier releases. Of course, you can never go wrong with White Pony. In regards to Isis, it's the same where their earlier stuff was EXTREMELY heavy and their later work before their split was more atmospheric.
    Just curioius, why do people have negative views towards post metal?
    I think because it's generally not very technically impressive, and requires a much longer attention span than other subcategories of metal. Those of us who DO like post metal on the other hand - really, REALLY are into it, it seems.
    Alot of people just don't like the term "post-metal" anyway. Armine from Rosetta hates it because as he says, "metal never went anywhere. It's not dead, so how can you be post anything?" It's just a really vague term they slap on anything that is metal with progressive or atmospheric sounds.
    It doesn't mean "beyond metal". The term comes from metal with post-rock elements.
    It irks me that so many people have to label something post-metal or something core it's all just music and find this sample track very listenable. I'm a big fan of D-TONES and like some of ISIS so will definitely chech this album out.
    Agreed. Post-metal/rock is my favorite genre of music. And that's saying a lot because I enjoy a fairly wide variety of music.
    Chino's always been good with painting pictures with words, but his work on Palms isn't really his best. That's the only negative part of the album for me (because seriously, Isis and Chino cannot go wrong). I hope they do more together.