PALE DIVINE (Crimson Tears) CD
Once again it's time for the often-used word 'underrated', but in the case of PALE DIVINE it suits perfectly. That is really too bad, because this US band has proved its creativity and talent at the very beginning. Originally released in 1997, 'Crimson Tears' was the first demo, which at that time has drawn a lot of attention in the doom metal underground. So it shouldn't be surprising that it sold out quickly. Fortunately, Shadow Kingdom Records makes it possible for fans and novices to convince themselves of the quality of 'Crimson Tears'. Even after thirteen years the demo sounds better than most of what is to be released under the term doom metal today. PALE DIVINE had never had an interest in becoming a clone of bands as Saint Vitus, Internal Void or The Obsessed.
Of course many traces can be heard in their heavy music, but at the same time it is quite obvious that the band developed an own, individual sound. Particularly noticeable is the fact that PALE DIVINE is strongly influenced by 1970's hardrock, that is skillfully incorporated into the songs. Incidentally, the band is able to write catchy, soulful tunes which you won't forget so soon. An example of this is the wonderful 'Rites of Passage' where early Black Sabbath and later Pentagram are perfectly merged together. Especially the last third of the song strongly recalls 'The Straightener' which is the second part of Black Sabbath's 'Wheels of Confusion'. Among the seven tracks on this CD, two of them are additional bonus cuts that have been recorded at the Stoner Hands Of Doom Festival in 1999. One of these is 'Serpents Path' which includes an excellent cover of Leaf Hound's 'Freelance Fiend'.
The bluesy vocals of guitarist Greg Diener have always been a cornerstone of PALE DIVINE's music and soon became one of the trademarks of their sound. If you want to make a comparison between the live version of 'Serpents Path' and the studio recording, you can easily hear that they master both situations with the greatest of ease. 'Crimson Tears' is one of the best demos in the history of doom metal and really essential. It has been remastered and comes with a highly informative booklet including extensive liner notes written by drummer Darin McCloskey (Falcon, Sinister Realm) and Perry Grayson (Falcon, Isen Torr, ex-Destinys End, ex-Artisan). Additionally, there are some rare flyer in the booklet as well as the lyrics and the original cover artwork. There is only one option: Buy this disc!