Black Palm


review published: 10/20/2017


From Boston, Massachusetts comes Black Palm, a band with music nearly as disorienting as their native city's haphazardly arranged streets. Resentful is a four-song EP and the group's debut record.

Thirty seconds into opening track, "Disassociate," and the Converge lineage is undeniable. (Given the geographic proximity of the two bands, it's unthinkable that Black Palm's members aren't intimately familiar with the Converge catalog.) There are unrelenting guitars, monotone screamed vocals (from two different band members), and hyperkinetic drumming with a stampede of double bass and plenty of ride cymbal heroics.

Fortunately, Black Palm aren't Converge clones; their compositions are less caustic and less experimental, though more consistently suffocating. "Disassociate" is a three-minute assault of chaotic hardcore that starts and stops, bucking about as if attempting to discard the beleaguered listener. Not a groundbreaking recipe, but enjoyable nonetheless.

"Get It Together" is more of the same, albeit not quite as turbulent. Dissonant guitars churn their way to a bouncy riff that yields to a guitar-heavy mid-section with nary a palm mute in sight. Whiffs of heavy metal nearly escape from the concoction before cacophonous hardcore reclaims the helm.

The onslaught continues until the one-minute mark of "Panic," at which point the guitar relents for the first time on the entire EP. A few somber, arpeggiated chords ring out before a major key riff and throaty screams pave the way to another fiery, hardcore finish. Fans of Curl Up And Die should appreciate some of what's transpired.

Resentful closes out with "Nihilist," a bleak affair powered by pummeling grooves and an ample supply of d-beat. The track draws attention to Black Palm's primary weakness: some of their music just isn't particularly memorable. Then again, when it comes to hardcore bands, such a predicament isn't exactly unusual.

While not a liability, the production on the EP isn't a selling point either. In particular, the impotence of the snare drum introduces a slight, though irksome imbalance to the mix.

Bottom Line: Sure, they've got some fine-tuning to do, but Black Palm deliver a solid debut that should appeal to those who enjoy bands like Trap Them and (of course) Converge.

Track Listing: 01. Disassociate 02. Get It Together 03. Panic 04. Nihilist