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Palehorse - Harm Starts Here

Harm Starts Here
by Spyros Stasis at 03 June 2013, 2:49 PM

After a demo, a debut album, “Gee That Ain’t Swell”, a five year hiatus and their triumphant return with the “Habitual Linestepper” EP and their sophomore album, “Soft as Butter; Hard as Ice”, PALEHORSE pen a deal with Candlelight Records and are releasing their third and most devastating album, “Harm Starts Here”. The band from London is recommended if you are the sort of person that worships all that is heavy. And really, heavy does not begin to scratch the surface on what these guys are doing, with their two bass policy, they unleash tons of Hardcore / Sludge upon the listeners.

The opening track reveals first the least devastating face of PALEHORSE, with the band presenting an array of diverse use of sonic manipulations techniques in order to lure the listener into “Harm Starts Here”. The only give you a small hint of sludge in the eleven minutes of the opening track while discussing their extreme self with their extensive use of effects, in “What Is Wrong With You People?” but cannot help themselves! So in the following song, “Don’t Bitch My Shit”, they let all the weight of Hardcore / Sludge, with a healthy amount of groove to it, fall upon our heads.

Their groovier side seems to be where the band relies for a large portion of their music with tracks such as the chaotic “Bird Feed”, with its conventional hardcore punk/sludge sound, while in other cases they might start of with a straight rhythmic pattern, as is the case with the monumental “Five Grown Men (Holding Hands and Staring at The Ocean” which then transforms into a beautifully sickening drone/sludge part with heavy use of effects and relentless feedback from the amps. That is before it reaches its fifth minute, when it becomes one of the most emotional moments of the album, with its laid back drumming, heavy bass and spacious arrangements.

Of similar concept is the excellent “Charnel No. 5” which once again begins with a drone/sludge aura before it slowly evolves into something much more expressive, even including some clean (well, cleaner) vocals, before PALEHORSE revitalize once more their sludge self. Their love for minimalistic sounds and sonic explorations is show in full extent in tracks such as “Full Power Anglo-Gambian Rinseout” which starts off with a speech sample and slowly builds up to a drone/sludge hybrid, including some deep vocals as well in there, and the monumental feedback melting away your face while the cutthroat vocals pierce your ears. Of similar minimalistic tonality is the impressive closing track of the album, “Skin Flick”, which also undergoes a slow progression, with the drums being introduced about two and a half minutes into the song and PALEHORSE’s insanity being released in just the last three minutes of the song with the album reaching its highest peak.

If what you have been looking is an album of true low-end worship then you do not have to look much further. There are very few things that can come close, let alone surpass, PALEHORSE on that aspect.

3 Star Rating

John Atkins – Bass
Ben Dawson – Drums
Nicolai Grune – Vocals
James Bryant – Bass
Mark Dicker – Vocals, Electronics
1. What is Wrong With You People?
2. Don’t Bitch My Shit
3. Five Grown Men (Holding Hands and Staring at The Ocean)
4. Full Power Anglo-Gambian Rinseout
5. Bird Feed
6. Charnel No. 5
7. Skin Flick
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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Edited 06 February 2023

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