You might remember when we wrote about Pale‘s Demo, promising a bright future for the Tokyo band. Well, this future is now, as the Japanese blackgaze entity just released their debut EP through Pest Productions! I do take quite a bit of undeserved pride when seeing bands which I talked about in their early stages sprout and become ever so slightly recognized in the music community. The previous one, if I remember correctly, was Sunless and their 2016 demo, a year before they released their widely beloved debut Urraca. But enough patting my own back, let’s get back to the music.
Pale’s EP expands on their demo with three new songs and a re-recording of the already available tracks. “Gossamer” might still be my favourite, but all other tracks show an incredible grasp on what makes post-black metal and blackgaze great, without any of the flaws often associated with the subgenre. “Zodiac” is angry and relentless, and “Hortus Sanitatis” is dreamy and atmospheric. Their sound is crisp, tight, and, in my opinion, practically perfect. The drums sound organic and huge, the guitars are crunchy and the bass is just thick enough, while the vocal delivery is on point, often reaching poignant climaxes.
If this isn’t the blackgaze album of the year, then I can’t even begin to fathom what can top this. I have to say that I am a bit confused as to the EP’s official release date, Pest Productions stating a June 15, 2019 release while the band’s own facebook page writes July 15, current year. One of Pale’s facebook posts mentions the pre-orders would start on June 15, so perhaps July 15 is the official release date. However, you can already stream the entirety of this album on Pest Production’s bandcamp page, and have a bloody good time doing so.