"Pale Divine"

By Colonel Angus

I really like doom metal and I have been a fan since hearing Black Sabbath unleash those heavy riffs. There have been a few bands that took that template and ran with it.  Trouble and Saint Vitus come to mind as being some of the best dirge-laden riff masters outside of Tony Iommi but for every band that captures that spirit, there are ten that just don’t hit the mark.  Pale Divine, the band and album, do a great Sabbath impersonation and while I really enjoyed the record from start to finish, I don’t know if there is anything there to keep bringing me back to the songs.  I really wanted to like this more because these guys manage to come up with some great riffs and I love the whole presentation from album cover to production.  There is just something that is missing for me. 

The disk starts off well with “Spinning Wheel” and we get a bit of adrenaline on second tune “Bleeding Soul”.  The latter is the most different of the tracks on offer here in that while it still has that Sabbath sound, it has a bit of swagger that comes off as more unique while still sticking to the original concept. Once we get to “So Low” and “Curse of the Shadows”, they are firmly in Ozzy-era Sabbath mode to the point of reminding you of “Black Sabbath” and “Children of the Grave” respectively.  The rest of the album pretty much falls in line with the previously mentioned tracks without venturing off into non-doom metal territory. 

Greg Diener does a fantastic job of creating ultra heavy riffs and tasteful solos all the while providing a good vocal performance.  Darin McCloskey (drums) and Ron McGinnis (bass) also put in solid performances.  As I mentioned earlier, there is some good stuff here but I just felt that ultimately I would not return to this record six months from now.  If you are a fan of the first four Black Sabbath albums, then this disk is right up your alley.  For me, I see myself playing the Sabbath disks instead of Pale Divine but that doesn’t mean that I won’t check them out live or look into their next disk.