Every so often, an album comes along that is a gift wrapped package of passionate vocals, dissonant musical arrangements, and deeply emotional lyrics to match the vibes of the music.
Solid State metal artist The Drowned God is known for weaving themes not only within a project, but spanning from one album to the next. On Moonbearer and I’ll Always Be The Same, the band tells the story of someone navigating seas of love, loss, and depression. Their newest release, Pale Home, finds its main character swallowed up by paranoia in a purgatory afterlife.
Dark metal is often associated with pain: emotional and physical. The author of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes knew that serious thought, sadness, and reflections on pain and suffering often times could be better than an abundance of positivity (Ecclesiastes 7).
In the same vein, meditating on the lyrics and drifting deep into dark and heavy music leads to a place of unexpected inner peace amid chaos. The Drowned God finds a way to create music that is chaotic, but at its core can bring peace and focus.
The opening track, “I Met You,” concludes with this very theme.
“Through blackness I find comfort
In darkness I find sanity
Through blackness I find comfort
You’ll never save the sun.”
Themes of being painfully aware of darkness and suffering continue on “Buried in the Room” and “Awake in the Mourning,” while songs like “Near Spanish Lake” find the character realizing there is a light and hope beyond the suffering.
“Cast them away
An undoing of the agony
That took hold
Tracing the scars
We all suffered the samе
I saw your end
Dawn giving way to dusk
Tracing the scars
We all suffеred the same
Near Spanish Lake.”
Musically, the Philadelphia natives do not waver from the heavy, gritty and industrial vibes that they have become known for throughout Pale Home. Aside from brief moments of calm and resolution, this album is full of minor tones, shrieking melodies and chaotic drums that create a feeling of panic and chaos at times on the album.
The final songs on the album find the character in the story realizing the reality of the darkness of purgatory, looking for a way home, on the sinister sounding “Gnashing of Teeth.” The album concludes with one part confusion and one part resolution to carry on, emphasizing the weight that the decisions we make here have on eternity.
“Clutching onto hope and our sanity
Vessels of the earth
We dwell together in this Pale Home.”
The 10-song, 45 minute journey that is Pale Home leads listeners to their deepest and often darkest inner places, where peace and hope can be found in the void.
Related Artists: Demon Hunter, Earth Groans