Palms is billed as a ‘heavy-metal super group’, consisting of former members of Isis, so you can figure out pretty quickly that this is going to be fairly non-traditional as heavy metal related things go, especially considering that Isis was always considered to be post-metal.
The size and shape of the release is misleading, because it is only six songs long, but the sheer length of some of the tracks means that the whole thing clocks in at just about an hour. That is another indication of what you will be in for when choosing to listen to this recording. This is very ‘composed’ heavy art music; the ironic thing is that it’s not very ‘metal’ in certain respects, despite the whole ‘heavy-metal super group’ tag. What it really is is an experimental rock band consisting of a chunk of Isis with the Deftones vocalist.
What these guys deserve huge credit for is writing music that is not very Isis-like at all. Caxide, Harris, and Meyer definitely have a certain rapport which developed through their time together in Isis. The current manifestation of this rapport shows through in the writing: the songs unfold at their own unhurried pace, and nuances are explored in a calm and confident manner. A perfect example of this is the song ‘Mission Sunset’. Over a fuzzed-out, sparse bassline, Meyer drops a very minimalist guitar part that is much more coloristic in nature than a traditional rhythm guitar part would be. All of a sudden, the main body of the song form begins to unfold, and what results is seven or so minutes of magic.