Future Palace – “Escape” (Arising Empire)
Battle Helm Rating
Close your eyes and you’ll be in emo-core heaven thanks to Future Palace, a brand-new band that only formed last year but has already been snapped up to deliver this impressive debut! Collaborating with producer Christoph Wieczorek (Emil Bulls, Annisokay), the focus of “Escape” is to offer both a sanctuary and motivation to others to develop inner strength in facing difficult situations, according to the Berlin trio of YouTube rising star singer Maria (aka ItsPandaCore), guitarist Manuel and drummer Johannes, who will be touring with Annisokay next year. Borne out’ve Maria’s own childhood experiences, the 11 tracks on this debut needed little inspiration to be put together in only 6 months, and if their resonating theme is intense emotion, you can understand where it comes from, although their clear message is not to dwell on past burdens, but rather to create a better future. Opening to Manuel’s razor raw riffing on ‘Illusionist’, Maria’s serene vocals offer the uplifting contrast to the battering drums of Johannes, and when the brutish guest vocals of Tobias Rische (Alazka) add to the internalised conflict and chaos brought home by lines like ‘… I’ll never be one of you, I feel so misplaced I just need my own space. I’ve seen way too much of your hate and disgrace that I’ve lost all my faith…’, it’s the huge catchy melodies that bring home the relief to wash away all that grief and hopelessness. Through a massive synth melody driving the feelgood factor of ‘Ghost Chapter’, the harmony in the chorus is simply irresistible as the guitars and drums add their weight and while being less harsh, add just the right measure of heaviness to ensure that what would be a great pop song becomes a veritable emo-core anthem! Right from its introing tra-beat, ‘Lately’ is awash with overwhelming soul brought home by lines like ‘…seeing my body completely bruised, makes me hate myself the most…’ and when the emotion is released through the powering guitars and drums, it’s an unfettered catharsis hard not be moved by, which is as Future Palace have probably intended it to be. Indeed, “Escape” is a brave venture through life’s darkest emotional valleys, and that it has been done so well is a testament to the fortitude of those who’ve struggled to release themselves from prisons past. May it inspire many who are still trapped….