On their first ever EP, the Baltimore-based 4-piece band known as Pala put out a very solid introduction to their music. The EP, titled We Don’t Exist, would probably be best classified as “melodic metal.” It features 8 new tracks from the band, making it longer than the standard EP. Although every song on the album fits the criteria of metal, it is unique in the fact that it is so melodic, redefining it from simply being a “metal” release.
Fans of music from bands such as Touche Amore and older stuff from Thrice such as Artist in the Ambulance will enjoy this release, because it is such a consistent mixture of the two styles.
On the band’s facebook page, they list their sound as being “loud/quiet” which is a very accurate description of every song on the EP. Each track has that building sound on it that goes from loud to quiet, and vice versa. Each song does so well, and doing this gives the album a very epic feel, almost the same as listening to a This Will Destroy You record… but with metal.
An example of this can be found in the song “Sure to Burn,” which is one of the best tracks on the EP. It starts off sounding very similar to a This Will Destroy you song, then proceeds by building into very intense Thrice-esque guitars and intense drums mixed with loud crash cymbals. The song is very complex, and probably the most noteworthy on the album. Stylistically, it feels right, and almost as though it is where the band needs to be in future releases. The EP is quality, but this track is perfection of the style that they are trying to create, and would be interesting to see more of once the band begins working on a full length album.
Along with sounding similar to work from Touche Amore and Thrice, the album is very fast-paced, giving it a sound similar to that of bands such as Fair to Midland and the instrumental quality of System of A Down.
The band has moments of perfection and of sub-par mediocrity in this category.
Let’s start with the bad, then build to the good.
The track “Don’t Ever Think You’re In Control” is good, but lacks the complexity and the intense melodic sound that the band can be very good at doing. Because of this, the song is only sub par at best. Their fast-paced sound can work, but without the melodic emphasis to it, there is a lack in both originality and sound.
“The Singularity” is a good example of the band integrating their fast-paced sound with the melodic and intense quality which they produce, and is another one of the most noteworthy tracks on the EP. One can’t help but notice the Artist In the Ambulance days of Thrice on this song, but with a mixture of the quick pace and sporadic guitars that System of A Down is known for. This song works well for the faster paced elements of the band’s style.
Although there are some imperfections on this EP, there are also moments when the band shines. Overall, We Don’t Exist is a great rookie effort from Pala. It will be exciting to see how they build off it in the future.