By: Mike Thomas
If you are the kind of person who does not frequently listen to hard-rock or metal music, let us take a moment to examine why this might be the case.
Maybe harder stuff just isn’t your bag–fine, be that way. Perhaps you are an individual who can get down to classic Metallica and Pantera cuts when the mood strikes but just cannot bring yourself to wade through the miasma of buttrock on your local hard rock station to tune in with any regularity. Maybe you dig the metal sound, but a decade plus of Hot Topic-inspired mall-goth culture has left you gun-shy to associate with anything in the general milieu.
Whatever the case, if you someday look inside your heart and discover a small, un-nurtured yearning to bang your head, there is good news: a whole new generation of metal acts have arrived on the scene, and they are done with the bullshit.
A standout group in uncompromising, back-to-basics metal in Columbus is Pale Grey Lore, which rocked the stage at CD1025’s Big Room Bar on a Saturday evening stacked with local and touring hard-rock acts.
To say that the genesis of heavy metal can be traced directly to Black Sabbath is about as reductive and obvious as stating that rock ‘n’ roll comes from the blues. Still, the influence of Ozzy and the boys is an undeniable part of Pale Grey Lore’s sound, with brooding tracks such as “The Conjuration,” reminiscent of Sabbath’s own “Sweet Leaf.” This is not to suggest that the group is relegated to mere tribute status.
A clear reverence for the past is tempered well by modern updates, including all of the doom-filled effects, soaring, triumphant guitar harmonization and abundant tempo changes one would expect from any psych/stoner metal group worth their salt (not to mention one of the most competent and restrained usages of a Theremin this side of the noise rock scene).
That CD1025 would play host to this kind of music may speak to an increased acceptance of harder rock in more mainstream circles. Still, this is not your big brother’s metal show. Illegible black-metal-logoed tee’s are few and far-between, as are gentlemen with whirling, waist-length tresses. Stereotypes such as these may be on the decline across the board, but their disappearance may also speak something to Pale Grey Lore’s overall approach to music and style.
Much of the artifice associated with metal for decades has been stripped away, laying bare that which rocked about the sound in the first place. Have you ever seen a guy in khakis and a button-down absolutely melt faces? Think maybe you’d like to? Check out Pale Grey Lore.
You can find out more about Pale Grey Lore and where it will be playing next on its Facebook page.