Title: The Eldritch Realm
Release date: July 20, 2018
Format reviewed: 320 kbps promo
The last decade saw a major development of progressive extreme metal acts, resulting in some mighty well done releases. The rise to popularity of melodic death metal and the emersion of post-metal, heavily influenced by grind, doom, black, djent and core, contributed enormously to said development, allowing musical creativity to run free of any preconceived boundaries. Pioneered in the late 60s by bands such as King Crimson and Yes, progressive rock was bridge in the 70s to hard rock with the arrival of Rush. The more aggressive heavy metal derives were even more evident in the 80s with releases from Savatage, Fates Warning and Queensrÿche, among others, gradually reaching into the thrash metal realm, with landmark releases in the mid to late 80s by acts such WatchTower and Voivod, clearly paving the way for the jazz fusion – death metal albums from bands like Atheist, Cynic and Pestilence, by the end of that decade and into the mid 90s. It is needless to say that the progressive metal of the 80s had a major impact on mainstream metal acts such as Megadeth and Metallica. Also emerging from the scene in the mid 80s was the American act Dream Theater, which to this day continue to release nothing short of stunning albums, cementing their name at the forefront of the genre. With the arrival of the new millennium and the development of newer extreme metal styles, the progressive metal scene revealed new degrees of technicality, creativity and aggressiveness. The newer acts, such as Between The Buried And Me, Animals As Leaders, Obscura, Persefone and more recently Beyond Creation and Ne Obliviscaris, elevating the genre to new levels of originality and intensity!
PARIUS is a young band, formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2011, when the band members were still in high-school. While initially focusing on melodic, yet technical death metal, the band released their full-length debut “Saturnine” in 2015, followed by a well received four (4) song EP “Let There Be Light” in 2017, featuring Ryan Knight (The Black Dahlia Murder) and Michael Keene (The Faceless) on two of the EP’s songs, and a clear preview of what was to be expected next from the band. Expectations that were certainly met with the release today, July 20th 2018, of their sophomore full-length effort – “The Eldritch Realm”! Retaining most of the grandiose atmosphere from the previous EP, “The Eldritch Realm” evolves further in complexity and dynamism, pushing the boundaries of their creativity to include new weight and dimension. While preserving the experimental aspects of their music, PARIUS adds psychedelic elements, delicate musical textures and vintage horror thematic, to an already tasteful palette, all of it in a excellent balance resulting in seven (7) exceptionally catchy songs, on this concept album. Showcasing some very strong songwriting chops, the band’s current lineup: Louis Thierry (vocals), Ryan Rauch (guitar), George Fenton (guitar), Kenny Rentz (bass) and Dan Silver (drums), has reach the type of momentum that deserves wide attention. In a multidimensional formation, yet logically organized, all the elements are there: Louis’s theatrical vocals, effectively and effortlessly ranging from harsh to clean (and back), Kenny’s punctuative bass fretwork, the massive array of riffs, licks and breaks courtesy of guitarists Ryan and George, all summed up by Dan’s skins workout, roving from vicious blast beats to vivid fills. It is safe to assume that this band rehearses! “The Eldritch Realm” was co-produced by the band and Chris Kelly, whom also engineered, mixed and mastered the album. The intriguing album art cover, in a 1930s film noir poster style, painted by Stephen Andrade, and based upon a concept by Louis Thierry, blends perfectly with the release’s musical theme.
The young Philadelphians, now in their early twenties, remain unsigned at their own device, focusing on writing quality, original music and rehearsing, as life permits. For those listeners in the Northeastern US – be sure to catch one of the rare upcoming PARIUS gigs. You’ll be in for a real treat! Highly recommended. 8/10 UHF
Please follow this link for Count Vlad’s exclusive interview with the band