Pale Forest Exit Mould

Pale Forest hints at heaviness now and then, but that energy never really breaks the smooth surface of their third full-length release. Exit Mould is almost painfully mellow, with sweet Cardigan-like vocals and slow relaxing melodies. There's nothing wrong with toning it down, but this album's barely shifting, laid-back rhythms come dangerously close to inducing sleep, much like a 52-minute lullaby. Pale Forest's dreaminess puts them alongside bands like the Gathering, but their delicate emotions are more hypnotically drowsy than compelling. Still, the album has its moving moments - "Pale Suit of..." or the chorus of "Revelation." On the whole, Exit Mould improves in the second half, and just as you might be drifting off they hit you with what sounds frighteningly like a guest appearance from Tom Waits. Pale Forest is the type of band that may help you unwind at the end of the day, but I definitely wouldn't recommend playing Exit Mould in a moving vehicle. (Listenable)