The first track is a bit misleading because it begins with a solemn guitar intro of the same note being hit over and over, but after few seconds, more and more instruments become layered together until you hit the bulk of the song. From the moment that the emotionally strained vocals hit you, you realize that you might walk away from this album with a new, more dreary outlook on life.
Lyrically, the entire album is superb. From lyrics like "You can call me a cynic / You can call me unwise / You can tell me I'll burn when I reach the other side," ("Nothing to Fear") or "Down the hall where my father sleeps attached to tubes and wires dreaming of sheep, the chemicals pumping through his veins, no one prepared me to deal with this kind of thing," ("Living Will") you can clearly tell that the lyrics mainly focus on hardships and depression. However, the vocals on Pale Blue Light do tend to grow dull after a few songs. My main gripe is that there is no variety to them except in the song "Nothing to Fear."
Instrumentally, Pale Blue Light is on par as well. The tone of the drums is something that sticks out to me in a positive light, as each hit is clearly audible through the rest of the music. The drumming itself is great as well. There is nothing too technical about it, but it fits along with the rest of the music nicely. The guitarists come in clearly and they can play anything from a beautiful melody to fast, technical riffs; Manners isn't the type of band to slow the tempo down for an extended period of time.
On Pale Blue Light, you won't find anything extraordinarily groundbreaking, but you will find five guys who poured their heart and soul into an album that clearly reflects that. From the first guitar note to the last drum beat, you will be awestruck by everything contained within the album, though the songs that you need to listen to are "Nothing to Fear," "Legacy" and "Living Will." If you are a fan of bands such as Fall City Fall, Counterparts or Departures, then you are required to give Pale Blue Light a listen.
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