PALEHØRSE (formerly known as AMENDFOIL) is a brand new progressive act emerging from the Finnish metal scene. The band recently released a self-titled debut album. I somehow missed out on this release and this band, it was only brought to my attention while preparing for the pre-reports for Tuska. I was impressed by the one song that I heard and decided to dig a little deeper into the album.
"Dead Wrong" kicks off the album. From the moment the first song starts, it's clear that we have an incredibly unique taste of music presented for us. Is it alternative metal? Is it progressive? Well it surely doesn't lack in elements of each of these genres. Lightly distorted guitar riffs, crunchy vocals, and harmonies that often remind me of the progressive metal act HAKEN. "Pale Horse" opens with a groovy main riff, the vocals again are very impressive, with the same kick-ass layered harmonies. Sometimes I'm a bit reminded of the groovy riffs that also a band like LED ZEPPELIN regularly used. "The Passenger" starts off like a more atmospheric track, and then smoothly transitions into a heavier, more proggy piece, the song is surprisingly uplifting, and really fits in my personal category of songs that could make me happy when I'm pissed off. "Darken Waters" continues in a similar way, but perhaps has the strongest chorus so far for me that vocally really intrigues me. It kind of makes me realize how versatile the vocals are in this record, from beautiful clean vocals to aggressive growls, nothing is impossible in this album."Catalyst" is a beautiful acoustic intermezzo to prepare us for "Catharsis", which opens with a vicious riff that is tempered by harmonized vocals. The transition between the two tracks is sudden, but perhaps that juxtaposition is one of the highlights of the album for me. "Odious" opens up like a true rock 'n' roll classic, it stays kind of in that trend, but with Palehørse all written over it. I feel like this could have been a summer hit during the early 2000s, at least it's a song I'd blast in my car. "Less Than A Ghost" is perhaps one of the most energetic songs on the album, it drives forward, the guitar work is stellar in this track, and again the vocal harmonies are outstanding. "Omnivore" somehow reminds me of DEVIN TOWNSEND, it has a lot of the different elements combined in one song with very diverse vocal performances and twists and turns. "Quicksand" is a worthy closer of the album, it leaves you with the right amount of emptiness that you'd want to press replay instantly. Job well done.
Overall, I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to get introduced to this band because of Tuska. What I was most impressed about in this album is the vocal performances, and just how diverse they were. It often reminds me of how great of a singer DEVIN TOWNSEND is and how he easily manages to blend in his peculiar styles in his music. Musically the band reminds me of alternative rock acts such as QUEEN OF STONE AGE, but with a bit more progressive elements in their music. It feels often like the instrumental parts of the songs are a bit nostalgic in that way, but it's the vocals that definitely lift them up to the next level. With their debut album PALEHØRSE is hitting all the marks! This album will end up high on my list of top 2019 albums from Finland.
1. Dead Wrong
2. Pale Horse
3. The Passenger
4. Darken Waters
8. Less than a Ghost
Lassi Mäki-Kala – Vocals/Guitar
Samu Honko – Drums/ Vocals
Ville Siivonen – Bass/Vocals