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Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity
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Author:  Dylan Thomas [ Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:57 am ]
Post subject:  Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

Here's the first review from Hellride, thanks to Jay Snyder for the awesome review!!!

The resume of Palace in Thunderland is impressive. You probably know it and if you don’t, I’ll leave it a cosmic secret for you to pull from the black hole. Resumes are cool and all but if what you’re currently doing isn’t up to snuff, falling back on past accomplishments equates to the ol’ proverbial fart in a windstorm theory. These Massachustronauts have done no wrong since their inception… They bring a heady, eye of newt brew that’s lost somewhere between ’71 and ’99. Dark and driving like Swervedriver’s lost classic Raise, filled with riff-y and groovin’ shooting stars that skirt the space between Sabbath and Dozer, graciously tripped out on the kinda ludes that spawned everything from Hum to Hawkwind… Yeah, that's the best bird's eye view I can paint at a glance of the Palace's multifaceted aural glory.

Bassist Adam Abrams leads in instrumental opener, “The Owl in Daylight” with a chunky, tightly tethered bass line that provides a sky sized canvas for dueling axe wielders Andy Beresky and Monte Newman to paint both ambient chords and clean riffs upon. Matt Netto gives the space station lifelines a suspenseful shake with atmospheric cymbal taps soon turning to a giant’s stomp of doom addled footsteps that leaves a three-toed imprint of Sabbathian sludge. The tune sets the tone for an album meant to be played without interruption. A retooled, revamped version of "Beyond the Stars" follows up the intro, a cut you might have heard if you were able to get an ear on the Stars, Dreams, Seas EP. With the new production job this song is a fuckin’ monster breathing fire, death and ashen, melodically intertwined harmony riffs. Andy’s voice is in top-form and Netto’s a backbreaking, immovable force; the weight of his hits rewriting the rules of gravity as his fills precisely accent every tempo twist. Adam’s bass is cozily nestled into the cockpit where Beresky and Newman engage in furious combat over the 6-string control panel. …All of the elements of a good song are right there in your face, including a chorus which rewires the memory pattern to its own personal beck n’ call.

“Awakened Dream” is another returning traveler from the aforementioned EP and I’m seeing it in a whole new light. Part Badmotorfinger and part Call it Conspiracy, it has those wraparound riffs and crystalline tonalities of Kim Thayil and Tommi Holappa’s best work. Ignoring the shambling, doom-y note bends and harmonized Lizzy-isms is a futile task, and the washes of synth-y, cyclic guitar FX (there are no synths on the album) give the music a mescaline mindset heard on the early Swervedriver records. Riffs are driven like nails, the leads undulate like serpents in their infinite unfolding and the rhythm section fears no universal power… A darker, gothic undercurrent sweeps beneath the waters of “The Distant Shore.” It’s got that jangling, dwell by night creep of The Cure in their heyday with a little more punk rock octane and breaking waves of riffage that cleanses the soul from life’s damage done. If goth-rock had any balls nowadays, suckled on the breast of 90s space rock while still keeping a 70s hard rock sensibility it would sound like this. I’m not sure that I understand folks who drop Torche, Mastodon and other names when talking about Palace. Hey, to each their own, and while not bad comparisons, this stuff reckons of way older tuneage to yours truly. Oh yeah, the riff at 2:55 is about as BIG as it gets and the way it jettisons into energetic, melody pinched guitar runs, pulsar tom drumming and warmly resonate bass cascades will blast brain cells to mush with a shuttle thruster. “Ms. Lazarus” from Downward is Heavenward comes to mind, but this is on its own program. They keep the arrangement bouncing from hypnogogic power-drug riffs to dreamy psychedelia in a way few bands are capable of.

Everyone gets into the vocal fray on the gang phrasings and “whoa ohs” of “Troglodytes.” The riff clinic refuses to close up shop throughout, albeit numerous turns are taken into open, arid prog-rock soundscapes. It’s hard to exactly plot or map the coordinates of where Palace land their stealth craft of heavy… a sign of good, original music in general. This strange planet is lush with the kind of vegetation King’s X grew on Faith, Hope, Love but still heavy enough to please those that are all suited up for a Sabbath party presided over by Grand Vizier Kozik. Particularly of note is a finale of wartorn, battlefield madness Matt Pike style…the riffs are ready for the reaping, the drumming is a nuclear overload of agile fills and the groove is as mighty as they come. What makes this movement different than anybody else that attempts it is the melodic shards of “pretty” white-noise that slice their way to the forefront of an empire gone mad.

A sonic cacophony of amplifier hum and guitar pedals turned to the "haywire" setting sums up the droning, beatnik chaos heard on “Deus Ex Machine,” a space soufflé that could have popped up on any Hawkwind record between the Self-Titled and Warrior on the Edge of Time. This piece is almost what appears to be the beginning of a couplet that continues with “Pink Quarter,” a return to the serene calm and blistering loud tactics used on “The Owl in Daylight.” An immediate favorite, “Decadent Decay” has more submerging weight and underwater light anomalies than the lost city of Atlantis. Impeccable songwriting splits the difference between concrete slab riffage and reverberating leads that sparkle with neon hues. The chorus would have had undeniable “hit” potential twenty years prior (“As I stare at the path in front of me, everything’s alright, because we’re all going to pay our debts tonight”). Every member of the band is locked into each other with the kind of telepathy reserved for Siamese twins and lab created assassins. I feel infected by these riffs…like I caught something there is no cure for and as soon as they start to leave my mind Abrams and Netto rivet them back into my head with their hammering rhythms. Too damn good for its own good!

They bust out the hypnotist’s watch on the sprawling, 9+ minute masterpiece “Before the Dawn Descends.” In terms of lyrics n’ vocals, there is a catchy minimalism present at all times making use of only a few metaphoric lines with the song’s title repeated like a mantra. The riffing is vast with extensive lead guitar workouts careening in the death throes of a level 6 psychedelic experience towards a stripped down clean groove that culminates in a firestorm of twin guitar heroics before trailing off into the autumnal drone, “The Absolute and the Relative.” Starting off as a rolling stoner riff thunder, “Soulstorm” lives up to its name and then some; the first half all about establishing an unchallengeable mid-tempo groove and then wrecking it into a freight train of Thin Lizzy gallop in its climactic endnotes… Closer, “The Sunfaced Moon” is the only ballad on the record. The heartbreaking melancholy is on par with a grandiose, Southern rock weeper, yet for the few dollops of electrified classic rock on hand (those leads will make your mama cry!) there is even more free form, endlessly floating waves of downtempo 90s decadence. This song moved me in ways I can’t even describe. Not enough albums pack a cinematic curtain call like this one. Andy’s voice is fragile, vulnerable and expressive to a point that feels like it’s some the best work he’s ever done. And if you think these cats didn’t bring along at least one God-sized riff for the ride, you’ll be proven dead wrong…

In the Afterglow of Unity is a masterpiece in a modern era of rock music much in need of masterpieces. The flow from song to song is seemless, a magnetized prog-rock sequence where each track bleeds into the next. There’s no weak link. These compositions are airtight and feature four men working and complimenting all of the strengths in their arsenal. I know the year is young, but I’m comfortable saying this THE rock album of 2015 right here and now. The Palace is calling… I’ll meet you at its delirium gates.

Author:  Dylan Thomas [ Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

New review from The Sludgelord! Thanks to Kat Hilton for the kind words....

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 12/4/2015
Label: Reverse Feed Records

‘In The Afterglow of Unity’ CD//DD track Listing:

1). The Owl in Daylight
2). Beyond the Stairs
3). Awakened Dream
4). The Distant Shore
5). Troglodytes
6). Deus Ex Machina
7). Pink Quarter
8). Decadent Decay
9). Before the Dawn Descends
10). The Absolute and The Relative
11). Soulstorm
12). The Sunfaced Moon

Palace in Thunderland are-

Andy Beresky | Guitar, Vocals, Vedic/Voidist transmissions
Monte Newman | Guitar, Vocals, Spaceship landing simulations
Adam Abrams | Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Biochemical organic fuel cells
Matt Netto | Drums, Percussion, Vocals, transportation and manipulation of aquatic life forms

With a name like Palace in Thunderland, that alone tells you why I had to listen to what proved to be a phenomenal album chock full of sludge filled, metal loveliness.

After a five year break, the formidable foursome have regrouped to offer an album rich in tone, riffs and guitar pyrotechnics that has evolved into an aural assault of epic proportions.
The opening track ‘The Owl in Daylight’ is an atmospheric, haunting number sans vocals that whets the appetite with some heavy riffs, banging drums and appealing tonality throughout. At just shy of 2 minutes it is short enough to make an impact without seeming overegged or tiresome.

‘Beyond The Stars’ is next up and my oh my, right from the top you’re subjected to a heavy guitar riff that does not let go, sludgy and filth filled with crashing drums reminiscent of early Black Sabbath. Then the lyrics kick in; cosmic and abstract with an almost chanting quality that hypnotises the listener to the end. A near 6 minute song which is over in a heartbeat; the talent on display is phenomenal.

‘Deus Ex Machina’ opens up with a warbling alien like effect, harking back to The Outer Limits type imagery; it is nothing short of haunting. Ably supported by exquisite guitar work with flashes of filth filled riffs, it instantly captures the imagination. Eerie, forlorn and bizarre to say the least, it is worth an honourable mention for the alien chipmunk style vocals at the end- the only spoken input in the entire 4 minute ride of “what the hell have they been smoking” excellence.

‘Decadent Decay’ offers up more of the heavy. The vocals are in immediate effect here, the quartet really giving it some in every aspect to throw across their message. Melodious riffs and energising backing from the drums and guitar is a small departure in some ways from what has grown to be expected and it shows another dimension to this inimitable bunch of misfits.

‘Soulstorm’ is a fuzz filled cacophony of noise and vibration that will enter your ears and pitch a tent encouraging you to listen, the monotone quality of the vocals lends to the chanting nature of the piece. Again some epic guitar/drum work and more engaging riffs leads this to be an out and out hit for yours truly.

Formed from members of various groups Beresky (Black Pyramid), Newman (HydroElectric) and Abrams and Netto (both from Blue Aside) inevitably makes this somewhat of a super group, something I am generally not a fan off.

However the visionary song writing, the entheogenic guitar licks, the evocative and ethereal vocals intertwined with intense lead guitar and beefy riffs lay the foundations for the dynamic undulations that take place across the album. Simple in its complexity it offers such diverse styles throughout that one does not get the chance to get bored. And while yes, you can hear the influences; Baroness, Melvins, Atomic Bitchwax to name a few, they do not imitate nor remain trapped in the one genre, instead flowing constantly from one to the next with smoothness and aplomb.

Words: Kat Hilton

Author:  Dylan Thomas [ Fri May 08, 2015 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

The latest review courtesy of - much thanks to Gruesome Greg!!!

This on-again, off-again Boston band featuring former members of Black Pyramid and Blue Aside is back on with their second album in the past two years. Though not quite as extended as its predecessor, the nearly-90-minute Apostles of Silence, we still get a solid hour’s worth of spacey prog doom here from Palace in Thunderland.

The album opens with a bass solo—if you can believe that—leading into brief instrumental number “The Owl in Daylight,” a pretty decent cosmic-doom interlude that segues straight into “Beyond the Stars.” Those who dug the first Black Pyramid record as much as I did will instantly recognize the guitar tone, the same crunchy heft that drove that stellar debut. The rifforama continues with some solid double leads on “Awakened Dream” before “The Distant Shore” offers some slightly lighter fare—devastating doom riff right around the three-minute mark notwithstanding.

After the feedback-heavy “Deus ex Machina” and the ground-pounding interlude “Pink Quarter,” things get pretty spacey and a little grungy on “Decadent Decay.” Nine-minute number “Before the Dawn Descends” is awfully reminiscent of Blue Aside in its warm, progressive tones, while equally-lengthy “The Sunfaced Moon” ends the album on a mellower note—I think I even hear a Mellotron!

Suffice to say, this album should appeal to fans of outfits both Black ‘n Blue.

Author:  Dylan Thomas [ Mon May 11, 2015 10:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

Palace in Thunderland - In The Afterglow of Unity
"Thunderland is a beautiful place maintaining a pleasantly doomy climate scattered with poppy hooks and a glowing opportunity for musical prowess. Combining a Torchey sludge pop with a Mastodon melody and the rhythm and flow of today's greatest stoner rock the Palace is open for business and business is good!"

A shout out to Bucky and The Ripple Effect for the write up!! Thank you, much appreciated!!

Author:  omind [ Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

Will b6. Wrote longer response got SQL d....

Author:  Damocles74 [ Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

'Beyond The Stars' is my favorite track thus far (although one moment! the next track, 'Awakened Dream', just kicked in... wow!).
That Sabbath, 'Children of the Grave', intro into sonic melody - sometimes a 3-part tapestry - is crafted incredibly well. PIT have figured out a formula that serves them well without being a slave to it's tropes. There is something unique here; this seems to be a hallmark with most northeastern bands, and especially with PIT (and ELDER). There is an endemic statement and VOICING that you don't hear anywhere else.

Author:  RalphSnart [ Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

As a casual observer/sometime sycophant, "Distant Shore" and "Troglodyte" always came off best live, and "Decadent Decay" was the surprise standout of the album recording.

Author:  Damocles74 [ Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

RalphSnart wrote:
As a casual observer/sometime sycophant, "Distant Shore" and "Troglodyte" always came off best live, and "Decadent Decay" was the surprise standout of the album recording.

We are living in golden times, brother!

Author:  Dylan Thomas [ Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palace In Thunderland - In The Afterglow Of Unity

Thanks for the kind words, guys. We worked our asses off on this one. We're working on the follow up now, it's basically one long, long suite of songs that all flow together from start to finish. It's a little more "metal", I guess?? It's heavier for sure. Also a lot more Floyd and post-punk/post-hardcore influence.

Yesterday's rehearsals sounded pretty sweet, and we're getting a bunch of new gear to try out in the studio. I'm very fucking excited!!

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