It doesn’t seem like it’s been long since Palisades joined the post-hardcore scene. On the contrary, though, it’s now been almost ten years since their debut, Outcasts, dropped, and Reaching Hypercritical (Rise Records) their latest release, is the fifth album to come from the band. While the previous works have been on the lighter end of the subgenre, the singles released have featured some heavier moments in line with the heavier subject matters in the album dealing with mental health.
Are Palisades branching out of their bubble for their fifth release?
The opening track ‘My Consequences’ shows the start to exactly that. Taking inspiration from nu metal bands like Linkin Park and Papa Roach minus the rapping, the melodies of the chorus have that more metal bite while still retaining the poppier tendencies in the hooks successfully. The band are clearly set on making the first impression of the album stick as they launch head-first into one of the heavier sounding breakdowns of their career so far. The Papa Roach sound is unmistakable in vocalist Brandon Elgar‘s voice. There is a distinguished rawness in Elgar’s voice, but the sound is still very accessible to a larger audience.
The album displays the band taking a lot of sounds from various bands across the board. ‘Invincible (Die Down)’ goes across the aisle reaching into different rock territories from the likes of Skillet and Sleeping With Sirens, in turn creating a punchy song with the ability to get the audiences singing and punching their arms in the air for. It’s from these variety of different influences that you can see the group have looked into what makes a hit in their world by the bands that are doing the most today.
Single-track ‘Better’ puts on the band’s more melodic side, diving into heavier subject matter. You can hear the emotion in Elgar’s voice as he cries out in the chorus “I wanna feel better!” The tone of the song, while it seems like it should paint a depressing image, the tone of the piece is more of a hopeful one. Elgar positions the song from not being in a good place, but looking to make the changes and the steps to make it happen.
While the band aren’t reinventing the wheel with Reaching Hypercritical, the band have emerged out of their bubble from their earlier releases with the nods to other bands that they’ve looked up to in their careers.
These elements from different sources have created a solid foundation for the band to work on in the future. Palisades have got the hooks, they’ve got the edge and they’ve clearly got the lyrical and musical talent to make it work. Where they take these steps next will be something to watch out for.
7 / 10