It’s probably fair to say that the music scene reached peak metalcore – where the number of good and exciting artists started to be overtaken by the number of shamelessly uninspired ones – many years ago, possibly as long ago as Parkway Drive’s second album or earlier.
So when a band comes along that truly challenges the tropes of the genre, people tend to sit up and take notice. As Paradise Falls is one such act. Rising above the tragedy of losing guitarist Glen Barrie on the eve of recording this two years ago, this Brissie mob have released an album that stands out among the faceless sameness of modern metalcore.
While ‘progressive’ might be too generous a description, As Paradise Falls certainly look beyond the parameters of their chosen style, injecting a range of different elements into their music. At its heart, the music is a djent-laced metalcore, heavy and nuanced technicality reminiscent of pre-Node Northlane. To this, As Paradise Falls have added other influences, most noticably the nu-metal elements in the Deftones-like bass snarl and the down-tuned grooves that weave around the juddering riffs, undulating rhythms and subtle snatches of melody, and moments of Fear Factory-style industrial grunt such as that in ‘Pride and Disgrace’.
Shaun Coar’s voice veers from a roar to a soar effortlessly and convincingly, with a clean style that evokes comparisons with Johnathan Davies, unmarred by that tell-tale Autotune sheen that so many lean on these days. As Paradise Falls’ riff arsenal is strong too, and the band have ensured Digital Ritual is a lasting tribute to Barrie by leaving all his heavy-hitting guitar parts in; stand out track ‘Reborn’ features everything the band can throw out – clean intro, stomping riffs, a crushing break down, the lot.
Barrie would be proud. In a world where every second release is a shameless mirror of another, As Paradise Falls have created something that really stands out.
1. Digital Ritual
4. The Ultimate Consumer
5. Automated Sacrifice
6. Glory to the Server
8. Dead Message
10. Pride and Disgrace
11. Captive to the Creation