Tech-Death Tuesday: PARETIC DEMENTIA Join The Ranks Of Top-Notch Canadian Shred You Need To Hear
Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual reminder that if you're looking for more sick music, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Sherbrooke, Québec natives Paretic Dementia remind me of a love letter of sorts on their self-titled album, specifically one addressed to the late 90’s and early 2000’s god-tier Canadian Tech-Death Scene, in a great and novel way to be clear. Their album is often reminiscent of acts like early to mid-2000's era Neuraxis, early-Kataklysm, Augury, Atheretic, Quo Vadis, and Cryptopsy. Paretic Dementia is a swirling vortex of ever-shifting chaos musically but it’s exceedingly well written and performed in spite of being a lot to take in upon initial listening for the first time or two.
There’s also a fair dose of supporting tissue from the American Death Metal scene, calling to mind influences from Suffocation to light-speed Origin shredding, bits of super brutal Dying Fetus stomp heavy spots and Hate Eternal style ideas too. There’s a strange underlying advanced musicality to the songs here, think something between Behold The Arctopus and Ron Jarzombek in flashed that is refreshing and quirky in a way given the overall both guns blazing approach the group opts for most of the time. Paretic Dementia kills from start to finish and is quite an impressive take on tech-death balancing all sides of the equation from brutal to progressive death metal to absurd eye-popping fretwork.
The band cites it as: “For Tech Death fans such as Gorguts, Necrophagist, Obscura, The Faceless or some of some old school influence such as Deicide, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, and Cryptopsy.” Paretic Dementia is absolutely on that level, and their self-titled album is truly a frenzied tour-de-force of hybridized technical death metal with a vicious brutal streak.
Songs twist and turn back to core sections sometimes but frequently mutate into something different a ton of times each song, usually supplemented by a different layer of their secondary U.S. styles death influences in different songs to increase the variety. I love this kind of spastic and overwhelming approach to tech-death, and especially when it’s as in it's high-quality riffing, impressive shredding, blasting, and many growling forces of hell strong as Paretic Dementia deliver with seeming ease. Their music is frequently built up by jaw-dropping stop on a dime transitions, usually from driving high tempo brutality to wonky shredding with a Ron Jarzombek and Necrophagist flair, to smooth and calming prog-death tapping, to brutal focused deathly nightmare conjuring places. The bass guitar is a driving force throughout Paretic Dementia, not just the guitars as is usual for this style, and man this guy is nuts. An all-out assault of wild tapping, plenty of sections on every song where he shines front and center, and the tone dialed in is perfect.
These guys write dark and foreboding music, it's fucking demented to be blunt but so incredibly creative and sharp sounding that it eschews the genres main cliche of most of the bands in the genre coming across as a cut and paste imitation of their obvious influences at the end of the day. The feeling their music creates is akin to being shoved off a cliff and then off another cliff and then the ceiling drops out again followed by mercilessly blasting and forward momentum into infinity. My favorite track has to be "Polite Execution", as it feels like the group at their most maddening and nightmare-ish, but that is par for the course for every song here honestly, I just feel this one sticks out most and gets stuck in my brain over and over.
The style of “extreme” on several fronts kind of speedy, brutal, and prog inflected Canadian tech-death that Paretic Dementia plays is not as common as it used to be, and as a fan of this kind of material, I’m really loving this album. Paretic Dementia has been blowing me away for several weeks in a row now and I can always tell when something is on a higher level that will see me revisit it endlessly. Sadly, I found out they are no more and this is their swansong, but it's a damn fine swansong at that. Paretic Dementia – Paretic Dementia is available as a Name-Your-Price download on Bandcamp. There's no reason not to nab it and throw them some money.