Edge of Paradise – The Unknown (Frontiers)

Monday, 6th September 2021
Rating: 9/10

Edge of Paradise’s last album, Universe, really saw them come into their own musically.  The brand of modern metal with some nods towards electronic, industrial, and rock really settled into place for the act and it was easily their strongest release.  Along comes their fourth record overall, The Unknown, to allow the band to continue forging a unique pathway for themselves and spread their wings further.

The Unknown isn’t a radical departure from Universe by any means, but it does see Edge of Paradise continuing to diversify their sound and tweak the bits and pieces to strengthen the formula.  The buzzing industrial and electronic pulse to a song like “My Method Your Madness” gives it a unique spin that you don’t often hear in the genre.  There’s a biting edge to the song, despite its very addictive and dance-worthy chorus.  The same can be said for later track “False Idols,” as it rolls through darker riff territory while delicately balancing melodic grace and a distinct knack to get stuck into your head.  “Bound to the Rhythm” handles heavy grooves with bouncing electronics in a way that feels futuristic without the cold, emotionless feeling that often accompanies said element.  The symphonic component also feels ‘bigger’ in scope this time.  “One Last Time” feels grandiose as it moves into the chorus and melds together with the guitarwork and Margarita Monet’s vocals, and the driving opener “Digital Paradise” completely takes off into soaring territory after the punchy riffwork in the verses.

If you look into all of it, the blend of ear-catching riffs along with the hook-y vocals allows Edge of Paradise to really nail all the marks.  Many acts in this genre end up depending on vocals to a large degree, which waters down the music around it.  Here, while Monet’s distinctive vocals sit at the top as they rightfully should (see the title track), listeners can still expect just as much effort from the rest of the act, and a deeper dive into the music reveals more than the genre-standard.  Playful riffs and an excellent balance for the industrial/electronic components give the band a noticeable strength when you analyze a song like “Leaving Earth.”

The strongest compliment that can be given to The Unknown is that it sounds exactly as Edge of Paradise should.  They continue to eschew easy band/genre comparisons and pave a road for themselves rather than following the footsteps of others.  The Unknown is thoroughly thrilling and energetic, and sure to make a lasting impression for those who enjoy modern metal.

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