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Pale Divine : Eternity Revealed

Pale Divine's previous long player, 'Thunder Perfect Mind', was at the top of my list of best albums of 2002. That’s a big call in the stoner/doom world, which produces so much of the planet's best music. If time has taught me anything since then, its that I occasionally make the right call. Heh. 'Thunder...' has withstood the test of time without even a hint of effort. It stands as one of the best debut albums of all time, an inspirational, doomed-out collection of metal that traces its lineage back decades to 'Sabbath through Pentagram on the one hand and to classic early ‘70s hard rock on the other. I simply could not say enough good things about the album then, and I can't now. Pale Divine is one of that elusive handful of groups with what Chris Barnes calls "The X-Factor," that elusive quality that includes songwriting genius and instrumental ability, combining to form a chemistry that creates magic. Like pornography, you can't describe it but you know it when you hear it. I include groups like Solace, The Rubes, St. Vitus, and Colour Haze (among others) in this select group. If this makes sense to you, then you'd better take your cold miser's hand off your wallet and spring for both 'Thunder Perfect Mind' and 'Eternity Revealed', because these albums bear riches far beyond the measly $10 or $15.00 you'll pay for them.

One of the most interesting things about 'Eternity...' is that the group has elected to go back and rework their hard-to-find tape from the 90s, 'Crimson Tears'. The songs are now quite different: heavier, richer, and more rewarding than the somewhat thin-sounding tuneage from that rare cassette. What's even more interesting is the picture this paints of the group. They view their back catalogue as available for reinterpretation, yet their style has really not changed that much. They're still throwing down the amazing doom-tinged metal they were doing when they formed almost 10 years ago. The new songs are in the same vein as 'Thunder...', but perhaps a shade darker and more metallic than before. In other words, the group sharpens and refines their sound but doesn't change radically. Why should they? They've got one of the best presentations in music, with the chops to back it up. And don't forget their excellent cover of Candlemass' doom anthem 'Solitude.' Guitarist and singer Greg Diener proves that he can stand with doom greats such as Wino, Victor Griffin, Dale Flood and Kelly Carmichael, whipping out complex riffs and the dancing solos that are his trademark. Drummer and group spokesman Darin McCloskey is the perfect counterpoint on drums, providing complex fills but never intruding, while long-time bassist Jim Corl gives weight and authority to the music, offering up the rhythmic drive that helps make the band a unique entity. And don't forget the stunning artwork by the group's "silent" fourth member, Brian Tutlo. I'd like to see it on a full-length vinyl release, or at the very least on a Tee.

None of this would matter, of course, if Pale Divine couldn't come up with the goods. But of course they can, and they do. There's no point in going into further detail, really, because there's something more going on in this music than mere chops and songwriting. If you're up for it, this music can connect you with another reality, a higher reality, a psychedelically inspired world that plugs you into the very essence of existence. How do they do it? By projecting themselves into the music until they become one with it, allowing it to directly express their thoughts. You may think I'm blowing smoke here, but this is straight up! The lyrics are idealistic and angry, condemning all those who've betrayed us while constructing our world out of deception and lies for their own benefit. In that sense PD. is like The Hidden Hand, calling it like they see it. Other useful touchstones are Pentagram, Trouble, The Obsessed, Uriah Heep, Budgie, Internal Void, Witchfinder General, and Iron Maiden. The point is, this is spiritual music, the word made flesh. But if you're not into that, it works as doom-tinged metal as well.

OK, I've gone on long enough (though I could easily go on longer). Once again Pale Divine has made an album that will surely qualify as one of the year's best, along with the new Colour Haze, The Hidden Hand, Internal Void, and the 'Starchild/Rebreather Split'. There are others. In the meantime, the onus is on you to buy, beg, borrow or steal - whatever it takes - to get this album. These guys have been under-heard long enough.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Morphia
2. Crimson Tears
3. Sins of the Fallen
4. Martyrdom
5. Blind Faith
6. Serpent's Path
7. Ever After
8. Drowned Out
9. Lord of Sorrow
10. Solitude

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes

Visit the Pale Divine bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
Aesthetic Death
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