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Review: Paranorm - Empyrean

Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 54:11
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black/Thrash


Review online: August 17, 2021
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4/5 (80%) (10 Votes)

Paranorm are a Swedish act that have been around for over a decade despite only releasing their debut this year. That's often the warning sign of a band that can't get its shit together to write some decent music, but in this case, it might just be because it took them this long to hit the level of musicianship they wanted for their sound.

The closest comparison I can make is older Skeletonwitch, specifically Beyond the Permafrost with its relentless barrage of tasty, intricate guitar work and high degree of melody that doesn't hold back the aggression. I will say that Paranorm are much better musicians than Skeletonwitch ever were, with winding, complex riffs that twist and wind into themselves without ever losing focus or getting dull, which is pretty impressive considering some of these songs are nearly 10 minutes long. They even slow down in spots for moodier acoustic sections that give the compositions variety and even let the solid bass work and drumming stand out a little.

This isn't a perfect release, however, as the vocals are a Chase-esque croak that's neither here nor there and despite there being a lot of riffs, not all of them are great or terribly distinct from one another. Still, much like older Skeletonwitch, it's the enthusiasm and energy that really sells it, and when coupled with some quality musicianship, it makes for an infectious and engaging release that serves as a solid start for a solid band. Recommended.

More about Paranorm...
Review: The Edge of Existence (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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