The world is a firework of overstimulation – and Future Palace have dedicated an album to this feeling of overwhelm. On the new record, Distortion, the Berlin post-hardcore trio deals with an almost oppressing mass of mental illnesses and problems. In doing so they create music that – appropriate to this topic – hits more hooks than ever before from one moment to the next, from the quietest depths to the loftiest heights.

While the band had already leaned more towards musical extremes on their previous album, Run, the new album Distortion is the ultimate culmination of all the tones that Future Palace have absorbed on their Europe-wide journey as one of the most exciting acts in alternative guitar music: the most powerful metalcore breakdowns meet trembling darkwave beats, anthemic emocore refrains à la Bad Omens are contrasted with sacred choirs, the coldness of industrial encounters the powerful emotionality of Sleep Token. An album that’s more like a manifesto.

A central feature of Future Palace’s music has always been the examination of the problems that primarily take place inside a person. Distortion is not only no exception in this context, but is also considered the brutal climax of this approach. The album title, which is derived from the psychological term cognitive distortion, represents a picture of a world in which the constant change in one’s own perception causes one to fall into the same traps again and again from which there seems to be no way out. Future Palace proves that this confusing view of the world can manifest itself in many aspects by dealing with very different images of illnesses and people on Distortion, from ADHD to depression to narcissism. The Berlin band’s third album is such an overwhelming force of emotions, struggles, negotiations, cycles and cries of desperation that the sheer amount alone can take your breath away when you listen to it.

The fact that Future Palace are able to set these demanding topics to music so approachably on their new record is also due to the huge creativity with which the band now constantly looks at their songwriting from new perspectives. In the recent past, the trio had already tended to create increasingly strong emotional contrasts in their songs. On Distortion, this direction is not only continued, but also meets numerous impressive elements that have never been heard in Future Palace’s music before.

Despite all the emotional excitement, Distortion itself became a project that had to be created in the midst of a lot of excessive demands – and perhaps that is precisely why it has become even more real. The album, produced by Julian Breucker and Christoph Wieczorek, who were already behind the controls for scene greats such as Annisokay and Smash Into Pieces, was subjected to significant torture during the creation process. “I sang the entire album with a root infection”, says singer Maria Lessing. “We had to postpone the studio stay because I had wisdom-tooth surgery shortly before we started recording and had to struggle with a lockjaw for a few weeks. The demos then had to be completed at extremely short notice – that was pure stress for me. But I have the feeling that the songs have become even more authentic here and there.” The genesis of Distortion also reflects the band’s everyday life. “The album was definitely created under the impression of being a heavy touring band”, explains guitarist Manuel Kohlert. “This means that it also exposes the feelings of being on the road a lot, of understanding your own existence in this special form of living and of looking into the past and future in this state.”

At the end of the day, despite all the excess and challenge that Distortion screams out in every pore of its musical being, there is still a piece of hope that Future Palace are impressively able to carry with the full force of their sound.

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