ReviewsPaleNeØ - ØCTAVE (Self-Released)

PaleNeØ – ØCTAVE (Self-Released)

Formed in 2022, PaleNeØ is a Japanese modern metal act that has to date only released a number of shorter singles over the last two years. ØCTAVE marks the band’s first EP release, and while it is roughly half full of previously released songs, it’s worth an investigation for those looking for some heavier cuts within the Japanese metal scene that still knows how to handle a solid melody with just as much polish.

Much like a number of Japanese acts that feature an all-female members, PaleNeØ isn’t afraid to swerve outside of the metal box, while still being able to come out swinging when it comes to energetic, groovy riffs and screamed vocals. Most notable in this category on the EP is that of “Maze,” which feverishly moves between some almost jpop-level melodies and frantic, groovy riffs and howled screams. Add in a healthy dose of futuristic electronics and synths and you have a song that manages to hit equally hard with both melodies and aggression. [Fantasia op.1 in C# minor “Melody Stealer”] offers a more virtuosic effort with escalating guitar melodies and keys that hit some very playful marks and swing the band into almost gothic territory at times.

To add to the diversity, “Elegy of Monopoly” comes across as a metal-meets-swing effort, with some vibrant melodies sliding playfully through the speakers. Previously released shredders “Schizoid” and “Panorama” do a good job at building up the band’s reputation for effectively putting the guitars front and center with flowing melodies while Hohomi’s (and Reoto’s) vocals hit all the right marks. “In the Aquarium” marks the biggest departure from the band’s more frenetic approach, nestling itself in with more melodies, though it’s done in a poignant way and also avoids coming across as a ‘ballad’ track with retaining some metallic crunch at times.

PaleNeØ sit as one of the most worthy Japanese metalcore-esque acts waiting to be discovered by Western fans. They’ve got all of the genre-blurring basics down pat, and their songwriting stays diverse without watering down the formula for heaviness (mostly). ØCTAVE is a great starting point to check the group out, with it’s fiery blend of synths/electronics, heavy riffs, and vocals that capture some elegant melodies but aren’t afraid to reach out and go for the throat at times. You can all but feel the energy come through the speakers once PaleNeØ gets going.

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