December 27, 2018 Palisades – Erase The Pain (Album Review)
When something just feels right, there is simply no good combination of words that can describe it. The same feeling goes for New Jersey’s Palisades, a band which gained the attention of Rise Records quickly after self-releasing their debut EP in 2011. Since releasing three successful LPs, shifting from the underdogs of the Rock scene to now under the microscope, the band is set to unveil their fourth studio album, Erase The Pain, on Friday, December 28th.
With numerous milestones already under their belt, 2017 was a good year for Palisades, as they rocketed to the top of Rock charts with the single “Let Down.” With the help of SiriusXM’s Octane and a growing fanbase across the globe, Palisades has not only traveled the world with Nothing More, Letters From The Fire, Our Last Night, We Came As Romans, and more, but has also been in attendance to some of the biggest festivals such as Vans Warped Tour and ShipRocked. Their versatility sets them apart as they walk the tightrope between Pop Rock, Alternative Rock, and Metal, but the biggest eye-catcher that sets them apart is the open-book honesty.
In recent years, Louis Miceli (vocals), Matt Marshall (guitars), Xavier Adames (guitars), Brandon Elgar (bass), and Aaron Rosa (drums) have reshaped the band into a new vision, evolving from earlier releases such as 2012’s Outcasts. With Erase the Pain, a quick follow-up to their 2017 self-titled album, the lead single “War” screams chaos, where the explosion of stomping drums strike against the gritty, swirling riffs. A radio-friendly track, it is fueled by passion, with gnarly breakdowns that hold the listener in a choke hold.
Ten songs in total, the aggression and headbanging continues with “Vendetta” and title-track, transforming the pain and oppression of being a prisoner of mental and emotional distress into freedom. As the album’s opening track, the aforementioned “Vendetta” gives off the feeling of being the big bad wolf on the hunt. Featuring an intriguing intro, followed by atomic and sticky riffs, the beat of the drum carries the tune as the listener gets lost in the singer’s warrior cry of taking back his life. Then it is almost guaranteed your heart will break when Miceli asks, “Til I’m broken… Are you broken?” in “Erase The Pain.” It is here Miceli recognizes the fractured emotional infrastructure, a vibe which remains a constant throughout the record.
All this in mind, there are also few tracks which grip to feelings of nostalgia for reasons unknown. “Fade,” though not as harsh musically, taps into a theme of hopelessness while trying to find the answers of healing. Softer, thick guitars rumble in before synth/keys take head over the melody with Miceli yearning to feel alive,. This emotion is also consistent in the ballad “Patient.” A powerful track about waiting for redemption, it is an open invitation to look inside the vocalist’s mind.
Vulnerability is the key formula to Palisades’ Erase The Pain. From “Ghost,” which carries the essence of being exhausted from chasing someone who is obviously careless, to the shortest track “Push,” which strikes as a daring invitation to be pushed to the edge. Additionally, one thing that stands out is the coherent production from start to finish, thanks to the band teaming up with esteemed Producer Howard Benson.
Overall, Erase The Pain features songs which carry the same theme, creating an album that flows effortlessly. In fact, never once will you feel as if there is a weak spot. Palisades continuously defines who they are as a band and with Erase The Pain prove that they are here to stay. An end of the year gift, Cryptic Rock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.