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Pale King – Monument of the Malign

Pale King
Monument of the Malign
by Jose MaCall at 09 August 2017, 11:53 AM

What? Hello? Oh, come right on in, your majesty. Yes have yourself a seat in my humble abode, it is no comparison to your lustrous throne but it is the best a mere peasant like me can acquire with such mere pittance. No, I certainly am not complaining about my lot your eminence, your glorious empire provides a glorious bounty the likes of which no other land has seen! Of course help yourself to my stocks, how glorious… Hey, wait a minute we don’t recognize the sovereign as the rightful heir to the crown! In fact we don’t even recognize royalty around here at all! I’m pretty sure we outlawed kings after the civilutionary war or whatever. You’re no emperor; you’re just a copy of “Monolith Of The Malign” by PALE KING. Let’s have a listen…

When I first heard this album I thought that maybe two separate bands were playing over each other. It’s dense, incredibly dense. It takes about a song or so to adjust to what’s really going on. Bad mixing or is this only for the mightiest ears? In Heavy Metal we build walls of sound to keep the posers out. If the entire album was indiscernible I would say someone dropped the ball. In the first track however, the vocals are somewhat lost in the choir and the drumming and what might be mining noises? There is a riff in there but it’s hard to discern. Once the second song starts things get better. The drumming sounds incredibly hollow and echo-y but the riffs and keyboards are much easier to pick out. Once the chorus hits, everything syncs up and you get a real good sense of how things are coming together. It’s a lot of layers but it makes for an interesting multi-tiered harmony. That’s good if you like those, why not bring the kitchen sink, right?

The definite highlight of the album was the song “The Curse”. It had great riffs and a really atmospheric sounding keyboard. The distorted vocals are unsettling and the entire song just feels ominous. Everything is just slightly off to make this visceral cacophony that’s discomforting but is still brutal. It’s definitely worth a listen. “Dark Intentions” is the song right after “The Curse” and it takes a more melodic tone while still maintaining the sort of otherworldly heaviness. “A Haunted Palace” is the last song on the album and is another great blend of spooky robo-piano and more typical Heavy Metal being played in unison. There’s some more fusion of synthetics on the vocals but it doesn’t detract from anything. I think what this band attempted here is successful; it’s a crusade of harsh sound that wrecks the ears.

In summation, we have Death Metal with kind of Black Metal-ish elements and synths that ends up being a decent listen. If you’re a fan of the genres and want to add more to the arsenal, I would say indulge your curiosity because I say this one’s a keeper. It takes a few listens but there are some evil moments on this album that make it a worthwhile capture. The similar artist recommendations this week were sponsored by Flannigan’s Death Insurance, sure people will cover you if you die, but what happens if you live again? Flannigan’s Death Insurance, stay covered even if you’re uncovered. Ok, so: THE RITUAL AURA, NOCTURNUS, BAL-SAGOTH, ANCIENT, ORLOFF, KHORS, VELDES. Fans of these bands may want to check this release out because there are some similarities in sound, the use of the regular Heavy Metal instruments, as well as more symphonic ones, and also some thematic elements.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Last Hour
2. Ominous Horrors
3. Monolith of the Malign
4. The Curse
5. Dark Intentions
6. Inflicting Misery
7. Resurrected
8. A Haunted Palace
Hannah Gill - Bass
Jon Rudin - Drums
Håkan Stuvemark - Guitars
Jonny Pettersson - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Record Label: Soulseller Records


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