Pale Divine brings a new perspective to their music with Consequence of Time, their sixth full-length album.
Pale Divine has always had great licks and sharp lead work. Go back and listen to their albums (on Spotify, say) and you will see what I mean. From Thunder Perfect Mind (2001) and Eternity Revealed (2004) – the one with “Serpents Path” – on to the super fuzzy Cemetery Earth (2007) all the way through to the 2018 self-titled release you hear great guitar work. There have been a few lineup changes here and there but the music has remained solid throughout. Heavy metal, in the classic lane. Current members include Greg Diener (guitar, vocals), Dana Ortt (guitar, vocals), Ron McGinnis (bass), and Darin McCloskey (drums). The most recent joiner is Dana Ortt, and it is tempting to think therein lies the source of the changes seen in Consequence of Time. And I am sure it is true, Ortt himself and the refreshing wave that passes over everyone else in the band when a new musician comes along account for the innovations. Pale Divine has no interest in sitting back and coasting.
What innovations? Let’s look at the two singles that have been released so far. “Tyrants & Pawns” first. The lead guitar is very active and plays the part of a second voice, really, along with the singer for much of the song. Separately, then, there are also lead breaks bleeding creativity and demonstrating precision. The singing itself has a different orientation and emotive quality in this song (and the whole album) compared to earlier ones. It is not that the previous albums are being eclipsed here; the new one is just a different space along the same path.
“Satan In Starlight” provides another, alternate example. You cannot miss the lead tear that rollicks through the second half of the song. Pale Divine has done this before, of course (e.g., “Lord of Sorrow,” etc.). The band’s reliable guitar work is what keeps me coming back over and again. What is noticeable now is a tangential lightness of being that allows the lead moments to wander in confidence, usually fiercely and yet sometimes almost lilting. The feeling I get from this album is that, while the band has never slowed down, it is now shifting into a different gear, showing us things we haven’t seen before.
Consequence of Time hits the streets on Friday, June 26. Check out the singles now and get ready for the full album in a few days. Recommended.