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PAL: Prime
PAL - Prime CD Album Review

PAL: Prime

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
4.0/5.0

PAL is the abbreviated moniker for Swedish musicians, and long time friends, vocalist Peo Pettersson, bass player Peter Andersson, and guitarist Roger Ljunggren. Their history goes back to the late Eighties, but recently they've been composing music again. This collaboration has produced their first ever studio album, Prime, and features Mauritz Petersson on drums.

PAL Band Photo

PAL

There's no mistaking PAL's Eighties roots and influences. Prime is, essentially, a collection classic melodic rock tunes with a strong metal edge, then neatly packaged in an AOR wrapper. Every song here is loaded with melody, harmony, and groove. The first two parts coming largely from the vocals and guitar lines; the groove from a big beat in the rhythm section. The metal heaviness comes from that same large beat, but also Ljunggren's sharp riffs and soaring solos. All these things are tempered, moderately, by catchy hooks in melody and lyrical refrains for AOR accessibility. I add moderately tempered because even their ballad, What We Could Have Been, has some tough riffs and a heavy bottom end.

Otherwise, largely, every song here is basically metal-edged melodic hard rock with examples in Heads Or Tails, Carry On, River Runs Dry (with intense sharp riffage), and Leaving This Town. The AOR feeling and groove rises higher within Hiding Away From Love (note the cow bell at the start) and Nowhere Left To Go. Conversely, something like Double Nature starts torturously slow, before dropping into its melodic heavy rock groove. Alternatively, the closing One Step Away, something of an anthem, begins with lighter electric guitar and voice, only to develop into a big beat metal rocker surrounded by strong riffage. The lighter guitar work returns after the midpoint, and then rips into a huge solo.

If anything more could be said about PAL and Prime, it's that both the band and the songs are very guitar-centered. So if you like bold guitar lines from brisk sharp riffage and fiery guitar solos, PAL's Prime will suit you just fine. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

If you like bold guitar lines from brisk sharp riffage and fiery guitar solos, PAL's Prime will suit you just fine. Recommended.

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