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Pineal - Smiling Cult

Smiling Cult
by Simone Barton at 03 November 2014, 6:00 PM

New British Progressive Metal band on the block, PINEAL, released their debut EP “Smiling Cults” in early October in the hopes to do what many bands before have tried and failed. Opening with “Theta” you are welcomed with the smooth sound of electric guitar, immediately working you up until the vocals, which are a pleasant scratchy drone that fit nicely with the drums pounding along in the background. I would say that this is a nice, somewhat chilled introduction to the band’s debut.

As the EP goes on you will get more enthralled by the Alice in Chains inspired vocals of both Phil Pieters and Daniel Murney, along with the deepening lyrics which definitely give a slight Grunge edge to the tracks. The Alice in Chains inspiration comes through again with the opening narrative to “Acerbic” which reminded me of the well-known opening for “Rooster” of the aforementioned band, that being said PINEAL are definitely nowhere near a copycat band with their unique EP, that could quite possibly be the defining sound of their band.

You can clearly tell the 3 piece are talented in what they do, with Phil Pieters and Daniel Murney working together to create a slick harmonized cooperation of bass and guitar for Nigel Boettiger to then add the thrashing drums onto, as well as the rough vocals, to create a hybrid of both heaviness and relaxation. I feel the team and mix of this talent is especially clear in the fifth track “Somatic” which is a notable penultimate closing to the EP and goes hand in hand with the finale being “Tides”. “Smiling Cult” is a well put together debut by a seemingly well put together band, especially if you take into account that this was all done without the help of a record label. I think will definitely help them get the attention they deserve within the Progressive Metal scenes, as well as attracting some notice from other genres with their different inspirations and fusion of sounds.

4 Star Rating

1. Theta
2. ADL
3. Civil Obedience
4. Acerbic
5. Somatic
6. Tides
Phil Pieters - Bass, Vocals
Nigel Boettiger - Drums
Daniel Murney - Guitar, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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