Album Review: PARIUS The Eldritch Realm
While some of my favorite albums excel because of their superb creativity and unmatched innovation, the most pleasing and significant records tend to be those which value cohesion and evolution. Ideally, each song transitions to the next with a purposeful amount of momentum and message. Releases like Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile or The Contortionist's Language are two examples. They hold a sincere sense of dynamics; like they're creating a musical story with character progression and plot twists.
Even with a bombastic death metal identity as the foundation of their music, Parius succeeds in creating compositions with whimsical, memorable attributes and an overall unity. Although each track on The Eldritch Realm holds up on its own, the fact that all seven songs combine to form one powerful unit is the album's true, undeniable merit. Like the Nine Inch Nails or The Contortionist records mentioned earlier, this LP possesses a thematic drive and never lets the listener forget.
Opening piece "Into the Realm" establishes a spooky, Twilight Zone setting and a smooth transition into the piano-driven intro of "Eldritch." It plays as a fusion of a peculiar atmosphere and progressive death metal performances like the musicality of early Between the Buried and Me. As you're frenetically dragged through the song's wild journey, churning guitar riffs, uplifting synths, and a myriad of vocal hooks become part of the experience. With "Eldritch" being a somewhat conventional composition in terms of progressive metal, the band aggressively rips pages out of the rulebook moving forward.
"Phylactery" crams pummeling Obscura grooves, an Opeth-like acoustic passage, and the quirky jazz-inspired sensibilities of a band like Beyond Creation all into one piece. The song is like the musical equivalent of going to Chipotle. They stuff your burrito with all these amazing ingredients which the poor tortilla can't handle leading to some rice and beans pathetically pouring out of the side. On one hand, it's a tad overwhelming and there are too many stimuli for your mind to handle, but then you realize that the overstimulation is the actual point of it all.
In many bands, the vocalist or lead guitarist outshine the other members, but fortunately, this is not the case for Parius. Kenny Rentz (bass) and Dan Silver (drums) are more than just a rhythm section; they contribute to the eclectic development of each song as equally as Louis Thierry's screams and growls or George Fenton's guitar licks. Each member throws their flavor into the pot, allowing Parius' unique flavor to rise. In the end, this may be the reason for which it truly is difficult to pigeonhole this band to a certain style. At times, they're very much so progressive and reminiscent of Between the Buried and Me, yet their death metal roots and technicality could be comparable to The Red Chord or Job For A Cowboy. On a spectrum, the music spans from the crushing brute strength of a deathcore act to the maniac eccentricity of Mike Patton.
It is cliche to plead for one to listen to the entire album in order to fully experience an album, but I fully stand behind everyone diving headfirst into this record and enjoy the momentous musical voyage that unfolds on The Eldritch Realm. It's impossible not to become immersed in the universe of this album. In my listens, I felt as if I was attempting to escape a haunted house with each song representing an obstacle within. In order to call back to the aforementioned criteria of an album's true significance being driven by cohesion and evolution throughout, this LP absolutely succeeds. From the thirty-second opener track to the epic closing piece "Crashing Black Moon," Parius have absolutely proven their worth on this record.