Sunday January 21st 2018

Black Palm – “resentful“


Black Palm – “resentful“


Black Palm describe themselves as “chaotic hardcore.” They also use the tags of D-beat and grind in their bandcamp, the one being reviewed today.

And I like them not because of their tags or description, but because of the reminder that their music proves, that you can still make music that is raw and pure and true and original as of the best visual art (paintings). You can make music that is uncompromising as the best, unconventional films. And that you can write music that is real and true as the best writings in literature.

That you can hit hard and raw and honest and it will stick out from the nonsense that most people accept as typical life.

That it will, ultimately, crush the complacency, annihilate the lies, make meaningless what is accepted as meaningful in modern life.

But- hey! That’s my opinion and you know what they say about opinions concerning certain parts of the anatomy?

But I say let this rip, this EP, and don’t be surprised if it doesn’t rip you a new one-

“Disassociate” starts from the first moment with some screaming, intense vocals and blasting, bashing musical hits-when some dissonant, single notes soon come slithering in like venomous vipers. While the venom of the vocals keep spitting out like a viper’s fang. Some stop and go rhythms escort the vile vocals along while the snakes keep slithering in. This song is all angst and anger matched with powerful, propulsive sounds and rhythm. Somewhat prog rock or jazz rock in its exacting execution, except- this music goes for the jugular and cuts it cleanly into the vein. This song sounds like if King Crimson was a hardcore band. Towards the end the music descends in a three chord vamp before being sucked out into a black hole annihilating all life as we know it. I’m okay with that as long as this song’s playing.

With some blistering, grindcore like bass and guitar, “Get It Together” comes bashing in and then striking out, randomly with dissonant chords like some drunk driver smashing into parked cars. The singer spews death/hardcore vocals over the stop and go, charging rhythms with one low, clanging note answering the lead guitar lick while the drums pummel, mightily below. The vocals wait patiently in their turn to destroy any hope of compromise. The musicianship is awesome, reminding me of the level of Slayer, and lacks none of the passion and guts of pure hardcore.

“Panic” erupts like a frantic shopper pushing their shopping cart, haphazardly down aisles, disrupting bins of polo shirts as the shoppers’ intestines ignite on fire caused by the hazardous waste spill in Aisle #10. The propulsive interlude of the first part of the tune soon evolves to a cool, placid lake of dulcet tones that still harbor a sinister notion. And while the guitar gently arpeggiates with a surf like tone, the vocals scream all hell- bloody murder! Then the music moves in an automatic loop towards the end, that only increases the intensity and sense of doom. Which makes it another great song.

“Nihilist” starts with rolling drums, revolving guitar and vocals that scream like a rabid werewolf. And soon the energy is pushed forwards into a hardcore/grindcore escapade. This song punches hard and right with killer guitar, meticulous rhythms and roaring vocals to complete my favorite song on this EP. Slivers of discordant chords and dissonant notes are tossed around like confetti at a Macy’s New Years parade. Me, I’m just happy to stand in the crowd and applaud wildly while my mind and innards are being ripped out by the root from the intensity of the music. I, actually used to be a nihilist in my younger days, but young people and music like this nullify that now for me.

Black Palm plays music that most folks will miss.

But it’s not due to the music’s worth.

‘Cause what’s here is plenty powerful, passionate and potent- played perfectly with poised precision, and has more guts and feeling and true emotion than what the average person knows in their lifetime.

And when I say, average, I mean the folks that would never be drawn to read these lines.

‘Cause average is one or two steps above mediocre and many steps below magnificent.

And this little platter is of the later. And if someone’s idea of entertainment is such flaccid, lifeless pastime- something that mildly amuses. Well, let them enjoy the mainstream platitudes of music and films- that really amount to a pre-approved, complacent acceptance of trivial and meaningless activity.

But I entreat and entice you to expose your mind and your guts to the soul ripping experience of Black Palm- exciting, exhilarating and determined to decimate with words and sounds, every living creature in its quake.


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