Paria - The Barnacle Cordious
Metal is a genre spanning a very wide cross-section of styles and substances. And at it's very core, originality is a very hard thing to come by. Omaha, Nebraska's Paria arrive on such claims of originality, or at the very least, a "more apt to take risks" platform on their sophomore effort The Barnacle Cordious. Short work is made of any notion of structure of a classical or even contemporary sort, as the band instead uses the album as a sort of emotional wrecking ball. It pushes through the boundaries of what is deemed "expected" or "complacent" and enters into a whole other sphere of extremes that very few metal bands can come close to.
The essence of the album is very much encapsuled throughout the first two tracks. The opening title track would make for an excellent radio single in another universe where good radio meant being challenged to appreciate all the finer elements of song and not just given something to nod your head to. "Circus" is reminiscent of everything good and wholesome about hardcore metal, only done with the sort of progressive songwriting mentality you'd expect from a Cynic or Devin Townsend. Spastic, melodic, bombastic...the grooves hit the grinds head on and a shower of sparks engulfs the listener in a maelstrom of metallic mind-fuckery. But that's a good thing! Another early highlight is the post-rock-tilt and (tasteful) wanking of "Pish Posh", which acts as a sort of revolving spotlight, a classy attempt at shining a light on each members' individual talents under the guise of a well-written instrumental. Blistering "Rabid McFly Grid" only lasts 98 seconds but leaves a blistering impact. You'll be hanging on edge until closer "I've Never Been Here Before In A Long Time" spends 10 minutes summing up everything you just heard, while delving into an atmospheric, almost ambient territory that lets you down gently and quietly, leaving you even more impressed.
The bridges that are gapped on The Barnacle Cordious are many and, although not altogether original or even that different than many other progressive hardcore acts out there, it begs to be experienced from the first minute and is a force to be reckoned with the whole way through. Paria need only a more concise, focalized and punchier effort to follow this excellent work up with to fully cement themselves in the consciousness of metaldom world-wide. As it stands, these guys are one of the most promising metal bands to come along since the early days of Mastodon or Lamb of God. Now all that's left to be seen is if they are able to fully capitalize on it.
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