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I first came across Pale Divine a few years ago through their album “Cemetery Earth”, which sound is like a mix of Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains. The songs would plod along like your average doom metal, but would include portions of really energized guitar work. “Painted Windows Black” follows in a similar fashion but doesn’t really bring any new ideas to the music. Although there is nothing blatantly wrong with it, “Painted Windows Black” was not as strong or interesting as “Cemetery Earth”.
On the first listen I almost wrote the album off as garbage do to the fact that it starts with a six minute instrumental track (that’s much faster than your average doom metal), followed by the first song “The Prophet” which is probably the weakest track on the album and do to the faster tempo feels more like a grungy stoner rock song then doom metal. So now eleven minutes in to the album I’m thinking they changed their sound to be more accessible to a broader audience, ruining what I liked about them in the first place. By that time I was irritated and lost my focus on the music and wound up only listening to a couple more tracks before I turned it off. It was not until I decided to start writing a review for it that I actually picked it up and started listening again.
This time I made it through the whole album but my opinion had not changed. As I started to write the review I put the album on again (as I do with most reviews so my mind is on the music.) Then just when I was getting ready to completely trash the album I get to the track “Angel of Mercy”, and I start to change what I’m writing to mention how this track is not so bad, it’s actually rather good. So I stopped writing and started listening again then that’s when it clicked. “Angel of Mercy” is as good if not better than most of the tracks on “Cemetery Earth”. The rest of the album just doesn’t have that same impact with the exception maybe of “End of Days”.
The sound and style hasn’t changed much so it’s unlikely that anyone who doesn’t like “Cemetery Earth” would get anything out of “Painted Windows Black”. With only one song that really makes the album worth buying, the only people I would recommend it to are people who have already listened to “Cemetery Earth” and really want more material like it, even if it is inferior.
(I give “Painted Windows Black” a 3 out of 5.)
Originally written for bensketchingblog.