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Palmer : Surrounding The Void

Swiss Post-Metallers Palmer offer an impressive, progressive display of Sludge, Post-Core and Noise.

Palmer are a Swiss four piece who, until now, have escaped capture within my net of all things Post-Metal. Pity, they're rather good. They don't mess about either. 'Surrounding the Void' gets straight down to business, with the curiously titled opening track 'Home is Where I Lead You' pulling the shutters up on a truly impressive display of Sludge, Post-Core and Noise that would no doubt make the likes of Process of Guilt sit up and take notice.

It's not long before the ever present genre spectre of Neurosis casts it's watchful eye over procedings, and whilst it can often be a tad familiar, 'Surrounding the Void' only serves to remind, that on occasion, for many of us, the familiar is not only a comfortable place, but also a thoroughly enjoyable one. Vocals are obviously key to this, being as they are, for the most part, of the impassioned Hardcore variety with the occasional foray into more experimental, off-kilter territory. As familiar as things may be Palmer are not without their own identity, which gets ever stronger the further into the album we go.

Palmer are also it seems, not without scope and range. 'Artein', is a quieter instrumental, boasting lead guitar work which during it's first half gives the impression that Steve Vai has wandered into a latter day Marillion rehearsal and started noodling away. Normal service is more or less resumed with 'Digital Individual', its title possibly giving some idea of Palmers apparent dystopian lyrical content and as the album wears on, it's abundantly clear that Palmer have some fairly strong progressive aspirations within their decidedly Sludge-laden assault, artfully bridging the gap between the old school likes of Neurosis and 'newer' bands like Gojira, Mastodon et al.

As the album unfolds, the pummeling of the opening numbers gives way to a more balanced sonic environment. That said, the heavy parts remain so, it's just that for much of the album there is a greater emphasis on musical exploration rather than a consistent barrage of noise and riffage. Although that too would have been fine in any case... it's always nice when a band show up with something credible to offer, and with it's own idiosyncratic markings. For me, Palmer are definitely one for further investigation.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Home Is Where I Lead You
2. Misery
3. Divergent
4. Artein
5. Digital Individual
6. Fate_Hope
7. Importunity
8. Rising
9. Implosion

Duration : Approx. 61 minutes

Visit the Palmer bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-06-04 by Matt Halsey
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