Where has Palisades been all my life? This New Jersey outfit described as electronicore (a blending of post hardcore, metalcore, and electronica) was formed in 2011 and have three CDs under their belt, but it wasn’t until the release of their self-titled studio album Palisades in January of 2017 that I discovered them. From the onset of the first track I am enveloped. For a new Palisades fan, “Aggression” delivers everything I need to know about their style and sound. The instrumentation is complex and the vocals are alternately sweet and searing. The wall of sound is so full. I close my eyes and it seeps into all the corners, filling me with mood and melody. It’s intensely experiential, and that’s without headphones. Once I plug into it, it’s down the beautifully orchestrated rabbit hole I go.
“Cold Heart” punches the phrase “requisite ballad” in the gut. It captures the feeling of hating someone you love / loving someone you hate with lyrics like “I wanna hate you, but it’s too much” and “Is it cold in your heart, are the strings getting twisted?” I’m noting throughout that Palisades lyrics are direct. There’s no “feels like,” no “I’m like a something.” Palisades doesn’t do simile; they assault you with visceral lyrical story telling.
“Fall” has all the makings of a radio smash hit and could easily pull Palisades mainstream. This catchy melody hosts more original and finely crafted lyrics about the moment an attraction calls for something deeper.
So can we fall and never once look back?
Cause baby I’m not looking for a “ten night stand”
I wanna make this the start of something
So can you say that you want it all?
If you find yourself craving the feeling of a requited crush, this is the song to sink into.
Another highlight is “Through Hell” with its explosive power guitars, skin-shredding drums, and viper-spitting lyrics. Louis Miceli’s voice burrows so deep it’s intoxicating, and his screams sear you front to back. It’s a good kind of burn, a purging if you will.
A criticism of Palisades has been the evolution of sound from the band’s inception to present, but I do not see that as cause for alarm or concern. That road traveled led us all to this palisade where we can enjoy a little fortified communion with like minds and hearts.