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Palace - Binary Music Award winner

Binary Music
by Kevin Burke at 03 February 2019, 1:15 PM

The Swedish-muscle of power-Metal flexes once more with the latest, and only second long player by PALACE.  This, only the second full release by the band, takes on themes which are constructed under the influence of multi-instrumentalist Michael Palace, who plays almost all instruments here except drums and one guitar solo.  This is the “Tubular Bells” moment for the epic-metal fan, a wet-dream of transcendent music all devised from the one mind and housed with the technical term “Binary Music”.

If you feel there may be a complicated ride ahead, do not, this album, while a musical work of art, does translate well into the spectrum of balls-out brain candy. From the opener and title track that lifts and and rages you know that you are on the cusp of something great.  A progressive feel with eighties metal sensibilities that mesh within the heart of the sound.

The electronic-effects add dimensions more that invade the total sound, such as on “Tears Of Gaia”, there is still enough guitar crunching and power drumming by guest beater Daniel Flores to keep all head swaying.  The guitar playing though is unique in the flares it sends up into this epic-metal collage.  Though on “Promised Land” the listener is sent back to the eighties, the anthemic eruption of enjoyment  is one of the chorus-heavy delights.  As rock-vocalists go Michael Palace is in a category of his own creating- passionate, raw but similar to the instruments it is perfectly delivered.

The songs themselves are enjoyable, singalong devices of awesome technique, never too long, such as “Dangerous Ground”.  This three-minute killer has enough musical-action crammed into a short space of time that will leave a lot of modern contemporaries wanting.  Though Michael Palace keeps that very action flowing effortlessly and enjoyable into the next tongue-in-cheek turn with “Queen Of The Prom”.  A charmer in the vein of MOTLEY CRUE though without the grime and sleaze, instead it is subtle.

The harmonica-driving “Julia” is the hands-down finest moment of the collection, an intense, power-punch themed on that ‘woman we all know who just won't give us a break’.  As the album closes off similar to how it started with “To Have And To Hold”, chorus heavy and dense with sound. “Binary Music” is a highly enjoyable album, not too dark, but skirting on the edges of commercialism without disappearing head-on, PALACE are not as self-indulgent as PORCUPINE TREE but just as satisfying a listen.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Binary Music
2. Tears Of Gaia
3. Nothing Personal
4. Promised Land
5. Love Songs
6. Dangerous Grounds
7. Queen Of The Prom
8. Who's Counting Time
9. Julia
10. To Have And To Hold
Michael Palace - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica and Alto Saxophone
Daniel Flores - Drums and Percussions
Oscar Bromvall - Guitar solo on "Julia"
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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