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Go to the Pale Forest website  Pale Forest - Exit Mould [Listenable Records - 2002]

Why is this band marketed with metal bands? I suppose that the fact that many of the musicians played in death-metal before bands has something to do with it, but this third Pale Forest album (first on Listenable Records) doesn't have much to do with metal at all. The guitars never really go past a "Weezer" level of heaviness and anger is far from being the predominant emotion portrayed. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, far from it, I just want to clear any confusion before it could arise.

The best way I have found to describe the sound of this Norwegian outfit is to take the guitars from Katatonia's Last Fair Deal Gone Down (I dare anybody to listen to "Spiral" on Exit Mould and not think of Katatonia!), put cute girly vocals on top ala The Cardigans and then add some discreet synthesizers (in "Revelation" they remind me of the Beatles' Strawberry Field) to make the sound a little fuller during the choruses and you should have a good idea of the overall aesthetics of the band. Of course this doesn't describe all facets of their sound ; they inject enough variety in their songwriting to keep things interesting, but still, the main selling points of the album are the catchy hooks and sexy vocals (will I get emails from angry feminists?).

The production is spotless, the musicians are all very professional in their playing and the hooks are meaty even if a little derivative at times. Recommended for light afternoon listening.

(I kept my promise to myself of not mentioning The Gathering or The 3rd & the Mortal like in every other review of Pale Forest, but big fans of those bands should probably take notice.)

Add a half Kudos to that score, I couldn't decide between 3 or 4. It depends on the mood I'm in.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

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