Pale is the band the leaves behind cities in rubble and fans asking for more destruction.
Does it matter if matter how much a band take up another band’s sound if their songs are outstanding?
So, let’s put it in perspective, if you were in the explosion business, would you have a preference about what dynamite you used? Maybe you have your favorite brand and it does what you want: it blows things up real good. One day you’re looking for your usual dynamite and you can’t find any, so you try another. Lo and behold, this new stick of dynamite blows things up real good, too.
But music is not the same. The band is important. When you love one band’s music and then another comes along and does the same thing, your first reaction could be “How could they?”, but it also could be, “Yes! More of that wild sound I love.”
With pale, we’re not talking a pale imitator, though, because both bands are eminently combustible.
Track one of this demo, “Gossamer”, takes up the mantle of Deafheaven’s post-rock meets black metal so pitch perfectly that it would be easy to believe “Gossamer” is a Sunbather outtake. Not only that, it sounds the direction many assumed Deafheaven would take after Sunbather: blazing, epic, and anthemic but pared down to a more manageable song length.
It would be easy to dismiss pale as copycats, but “Gossamer” is just too fire for that. It begins with awesome, uplifting major-key blasting, continues on to a gorgeous midsection, and finishes with a towering climax. It is one step past fierce, and everything you could want in a track.
Interestingly, “Juvenile” almost doesn’t sound like Deafheaven at all. “Juvenile” takes on a more traditional black/death metal sound with verve. It features breakdowns to half time and even sneaks in a climax. So where is the almost? The climax uses the first half of the riff from music’s all time greatest climax, Deafheaven’s song “Sunbather”.
If you’re going to take significant cues from a band, you could do a lot worse than what pale have done. Given the outstanding songwriting on these two tracks, they are welcome to take inspiration from anyone they like. Pale is the band leaving streaks of fire and cities in rubble behind them. Dynamite.