Parius – Let There Be Light (Self-Released)

Sunday, 22nd January 2017
Rating: 8.5/10

Parius’ first EP, Saturnine, established the band as having the technical know-how in regards to crafting a melodic death metal album that clung firmly to the death metal portion of the genre. An American-ized and more fresh approach than most, who look mostly to Europe for influences. They’ve upped the stakes for their second release, and are all the stronger for it.

The short 15-minute EP pulls no punches in terms of brutality while still keeping a melodic edge. The most integral element is that Parius focus on death metal – these are tracks that keep the aggression moving first and foremost (check out the blistering assault that is “A Shade Darker Than Black”), and then bring in melodies to keep it grounded and memorable. There are grooves, blast beats, synths, and galloping thrashy sections to switch things up, and the band also tries out some clean vocals. The clean vocals (see “Let There Be Light”) work surprisingly well, not having the clichéd approach and are fully integrated into the song. They keep their power because the band doesn’t go out of their way to include them in each track as well. The band also brought in Ryan Knight (ex-The Black Dahlia Murder) and Michael Keene (The Faceless) to whip up a few strong leads, which adds a nice touch to both tracks. Additionally, the use of violin (performed by Michaela Nachtigall) in some isolated areas heightens the atmosphere without approaching gimmick territory.

Every bit a step up from Saturnine, Let There Be Light solidifies Parius as an act to keep your eye on as they continue to hone in on what works for the band. It’s enjoyable to hear a band wield both brutality and melody in equal measure that doesn’t resort to the same old tactics. Parius are onto something here and there’s a lot of potential based on their growth to date.

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