Parius – Saturnine (Self-Released)

Tuesday, 1st December 2015
Rating: 8/10

While there is a small pocket of solid American based melodic death metal, it’s a form that many have decided is “out to pasture.” Admittedly, there’s only so much that can be done with it, but it’s still exciting to hear new bands willing to work within the genre and give it their own personal spin. Such can be said about Philly’s own Parius, who utilize all of the classic hallmarks but keep things to a decidedly dark tone.

Saturnine keeps an effective blur between a few key factors, allowing them to not sound like a carbon copy of the masters. For one thing, there’s equal attention paid to the “melodic” and “death” elements within their sound, and they never succumb to the clean vocal trends. It doesn’t take long into the opening track, “Doctor Device,” to give you a good impression of this. It’s aggressive, often driving, but keeps an ear to the ground for some melodies. There’s also a groove element to many of the tracks, coupled with the low end vocals, remind of Bandcamp favorites Solipsist. The groove gives it a more modern feel compared to the melodic death riffing, but without watering the whole thing down. Songs like “Galactic Termination” and “Confined” show this best, with some memorable riffs that veer off at just the right point into a melodic lead. The solos throughout are intriguing, offering bursts of melodicism that stand out amid the harsher riffs (see “The Silence of the Sirens”). Rounding things out is the production, which gives the album a solid bit of crunch while maintaining the clarity needed for a melodeath release.

A promising start for Parius, who manage to take textbook pages from the melodic death formula and keep it fresh and interesting from start to finish. Saturnine is sure to appeal to fans of the genre who are looking for something on the heavier side.

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