As a music journalist, I’m always looking for new acts – no matter the genre. So when I come across a band that blends them and sounds out of the ordinary, it catches my ear. PALESKIN did just that last year as I discovered them via the Dreambound channel with their single “Grey”. The passion of the vocals is immediately noticeable, complemented by the backbeat of percussive sounds you’d usually find in a trap song. After 2 EP’s and singles-a-plenty, it’s time for the group’s first LP, Joy is Temporary, Pain is Constant.
While vocalist Casper Frisk gets to flaunt his vocal prowess, the backbone of the 3-piece comes courtesy of songwriter/producer Adrian Bellan and guitarist Jimmy Fransen. Each piece off Joy is Temporary, Pain is Constant has its stage set immediately, whether it be a harrowing guitar opening on “Funeral Dreams” or the daunting intro track “Joy is Temporary”. With soaring clean vocals often layered by octave and agonized uncleans delivering an outpouring of emotion, Casper warrants all the praise I can give for what is THE standout vocal performance of 2021 so far.
Thematically, PALESKIN’s first record hones in on the distress and defeatism of a dark place: “Joy Is Temporary, Pain Is Constant is about all the pessimism you get from years of depression and anxiety, nothing seems to get you forward and when you get some kind of feeling of joy it gets taken away from you in seconds just to leave you in your own head of dark thoughts once again”.
While not the most original subject matter, it’s done so tastefully by the group through stoic lyricism and tormenting aural environment that PALESKIN is leaps and bounds above their peers. It can be felt in lyrical moments like this one from “Death of Me”: “It leads me astray Visit me down in the hole where I stay I’ve been here for years now I can barely see the light now Sanity may never be found no Life flashes before me and everyone dies Everyone dies“. The echo-y backdrop filled with subtle layering of somber pianos, minor-key guitar runs, and more make it a natural saddening listen.
PALESKIN’s ability to masterfully mesh depressive alt with the instrumentals of trap is worthy of putting them up with the skyrocketed fame of similar act Nothing, Nowhere. To put out 2 EP’s and a full length in the span of a few years without sacrificing quality is a feat in itself, but I can wholeheartedly say Joy is Temporary, Pain is Constant is my favorite work from PALESKIN yet. A lot of listeners are going to experience this album on a deep personal level – that dark place is a familiar, unflinching feeling that connects music to our sorrows. Joy is Temporary, Pain is Constant is a tragic listen, but a masterclass in songwriting, production, execution – everything is brilliant, and I couldn’t be more excited for the band’s future.
PALESKIN’s Joy is Temporary, Pain is Constant releases March 5th, 2021.
A press stream of Joy is Temporary, Pain is Constant was provided courtesy of PALESKIN.