Pale Divine - Eternity Revealed
Martyr Music Group
American doom metal/stoner
10 songs (51'45")
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

I have been fiddling enough with Eternity Revealed booklet to admit that I give up. Does it qualify as a new release given the fact that half of the songs have been written in 1997 while another half are newly penned cuts which saw the light of day in 2004? Could it be that underground Pennsylvania doom heroes Pale Divine decided to reward the world by bringing back to life the tracks from their highly sought after Crimson Tears demo? Ultimately, who cares, as probably every self-respecting doom aficionado is going to acquire, love and ride this CD endlessly anyway.

There is no doubt in my mind that Pale Divine is a doom band even though they may not completely conform to the boundaries of the genre. There are no plodding rhythms or wailing vocals, there is no drone and very little sludge on Eternity Revealed. Instead, the band decidedly plays what I call American doom metal with Trouble and Pentagram setting the blueprint.

Pale Divine sound is not just heavy, it is massive. Greg Diener’s guitar and Jim Corl’s bass own the forefront giving an impression that the strings on their instruments are at least half an inch thick. And when you think the riffs begin to border on dissonance, the band throws such a memorable hook the whole song finds its way and achieves clarity (Crimson Tears). Slow and stretchy at times (beginning of Martyrdom, Lord of Sorrow), Pale Divine can also be groovy throwing a dash of stoner in their faster songs (Serpents Path, Ever After). There is no doubt that Darin McCloskey is a precise drummer, but his snare and, especially, bass drums are relatively buried in the mix with only cymbals being highly audible.

Heavy riffs and immediate melodies of their choruses, this is not, however, the only thing Pale Divine bring to the table. This is a thinking man’s music with the band almost constantly challenging the listener. Songs on Eternity Revealed are full of long instrumental jam sessions, practically jazzy, squawking guitar improvisational moments. Sometimes I felt as though the band could not wait to get to the jam point in the song to fly off the handle. Adept at arpeggios (Lord of Sorrow), the jams, however, are not about showing off. They make sense and are completely to die for when they grow as extensions of the chorus’ hook (Drowned Out). The band also shows that they can play within the defined set of riffs and improvise at the same time overlapping both steady and crazy guitar lines (Blind Faith). There are few other bands, Suzukiton being one of them, which can make instrumental doom sound so enticing.

Greg Diener’s vocals are somewhat an acquired taste – clear, but unpolished and gruff. Periodically, he reminds me of Danzig and I can’t say that I am enamored about that. Projecting tough love (Lord of Sorrow) they can be hysterical yelps as well (Ever After). Yet, clearly, vocal lines on Eternity Revealed are not an afterthought, given how much meaning there is in the message. Along with Antimatter, this album wins the prize for the most thoughtful lyrics I heard in 2005. Without preaching their beliefs, Pale Divine share with us unbelievable spirituality of their existence. This is not about Christianity, or any particular religion for that matter. Instead, if I am allowed an interpretation, it is more about mysticism, higher power creative and destructive force and some so-called “believers” usurping the privacy of an individual faith.

The album is concluded by a Candlemass cover of Solitude, which just about every band wearing the doom attributes is trying to pull off these days (Swallow the Sun). Pale Divine adds their own trademark jam to the legendary track, but Johan Lanquist’s underrated clean vocals always brought the original on a special level for me. Well, Diener is no Lanquist, but the classic is not tarnished in any way.

Strong musicianship and all, the best characteristics of Pale Divine is its honesty and genuine nature. And music from the heart has always received high marks from me.

Killing Songs :
Crimson Tears, Serpents Path, Drowned Out, Lord of Sorrow
Alex quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Pale Divine that we have reviewed:
Pale Divine - Cemetery Earth reviewed by Andy and quoted 90 / 100
Pale Divine - Painted Windows Black reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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