Y’know, I was kinda wondering what had happened to these guys; it had been over four years since the release of their last record, Death’s Procession, and subsequent tour supporting Weedeater. No longer signed to Kemado Records, which seems to have fallen off the face of the earth itself, this Oakland retro-rock outfit is still nevertheless intact.
Palace of Vision starts off on “The Mountain,” whose uptempo, sludgy, yet melodic riffage comes off as a cross between former labelmates The Sword and fellow Smokelanders High on Fire. “Flesh of Fire” slows things down considerably, although its not all doom ‘n gloom, with some rather bright-sounding guitar interludes breaking up pretty punishing verses.
The sludge-punk returns with “Devil’s Crown,” which even adds a dash of Lemmy to the proceedings. From there it’s back to the straight-up sludge, with the title track a rather doomy romp, once again reminiscent of Matt Pike and co. Hell, I ever hear a bit of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in the verse structure.
For the most part, the rest of the record fits the Oakland sound that bands like HOF and Saviours have established. Always good to hear it again!