Friday, 31 March 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Palmer - "Surrounding The Void"

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/02/2017
Label: Czar of Bullets



Over the course of an hour, the band chart an ever-shifting course through crushing riffs, head-scratching math metal, serene post-rock and immense soundscapes. It’s an exhilarating journey that makes me wonder how a band of this quality have stayed under the radar for so long.  It’s definitely time for Palmer to emerge from the shadows to gain the respect they deserve.

“Surrounding The Void” CD//DD//LP track listing:

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

The Review:

Swiss post-metal powerhouse, Palmer, celebrate their sixteenth year of existence with a monstrous new LP, “Surrounding The Void”. Over the course of an hour, the band chart an ever-shifting course through crushing riffs, head-scratching math metal, serene post-rock and immense soundscapes. It’s an exhilarating journey that makes me wonder how a band of this quality have stayed under the radar for so long.

“Home Is Where I Lead You” is a bold opening statement, an epic construction of whirlwind riffs and swings in mood that recalls much-missed compatriots Kruger and Knut. There are also hints of the mammoth compositions of Zatokrev, whose Frederyk Rotter released “Surrounding The Void” via his Czar of Bullets label. “Misery” and “Digital Individual” inflict similar damage while “Divergent” and “Rising” find Palmer sprawling into the outer limits. These two behemoths push the ten minute mark, with the former embracing droned-out cosmic sounds, while the latter culminates in an almost-anthemic, melodic climax.

Artein” shows Palmer are equally effective when exercising restraint. An understated instrumental that subtly twists and turns, the band show they can be captivating without having to resort to cheap quiet/loud post-rock tricks. Subdued closer “Implosion” exists in the same realm, building layers of hypnotic guitar into a tower of ambient sound, charred around the edges by smouldering distortion.

Import Unity” is the only slight mis-step here, an attempt at a more concise straight-ahead metal track that doesn’t quite come off. The virtuoso shredding at the end of the track is particularly jarring and at odds with the rest of the LP. 

Surrounding The Void” is a complex beast that covers a wide sonic spectrum from dense heaviness to spectral calm. It’s definitely time for Palmer to emerge from the shadows to gain the respect they deserve.

“Surrounding The Void” is available here


Band info: official || facebook

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