Pale Divine – Cemetery Earth (reissue)

Pale Divine

By Gruesome Greg

Don’t sleep on Pale Divine. They might not be one of the first bands that comes to mind when you think American doom — I’m guilty of this as well. But whenever I’ve seen ’em play at a couple doomfests down south, they pretty much steal the show. Did I mention there’s some live tracks on the bonus disc of this reissue?

Cemetery Earth, the band’s third album, was only released in ’07 but, alas, it was hardly available domestically to begin with, originally issued by a smallish Swedish imprint. So if you missed out the first time around, now’s your chance. And if you’ve already got it, well, did I mention there’s a bonus disc?

Of course, the original album is still the main platter here, 10 tracks spanning just over an hour, with most hovering around the five to six minute mark. “The Eyes of Destiny” sets the early tone with some solid trad-doom riffage, adopting a head-nodding mid-paced attack with a slightly slower chorus for added anthemic effect. Although the band hails from Philly, they’ve certainly got that Maryland sound, showing shades of The Obsessed, Earthride and their ilk (case in point: “Fire and Ice” sounds like something that oozed out of Dave Sherman while “Soul Searching” coulda been written by Wino). But they also have a mellower, more melodic side, which delivers downtuned despondency on the 11-minute title track, among others. Hell, this album even includes a piano interlude!

“(I Alone) The Traveller” is perhaps the most anthemic tune on here, with a crunchy, stop-start riff backing the longing, sing-along lyrics. Just before the halfway mark, this one picks up the pace with some Maideneque galloping leading into a face-melting guitar solo… then brings things back down for more slow-mo headbanging action. Doom out with yer tomb out!

(Shadow Kingdom)

8.5 / 10

Laura is associate editor of and co-host of weekly metal show Kill Eat Exploit the Weak on CFMU 93.3 FM. She loves doom, prog, cats and basketball, believes in equity and social justice and is not cool with any form of discrimination, marginalization, harassment or oppression.