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Paralysis is one of those obscure bands which are always overlooked by some, and for those who choose to look a little bit closer often find a hidden gem in the making. This album despite being their only full length release has very strong tracklists and an overall Death Metal vibe, not so much grindcore in my opinion. The reason I dont say it has much grindcore in it is because of the constant and apparant death metal grooves that are played on most of their songs off this release. Perhaps the vocal style gives a somewhat grindcore vibe, although it can be "brutal" at times, vocalist Ben Falgoust unleashes some of the most unique screams I have ever heard which fits perfectly with the death metal grooves and really does make this band very special. Songs such as "Torso", "Paraplegia", "Patrons Of The Dark", "Shroud Of Iniquity" "Decomposed" and "Mausoleum" create some of the most horrifying and catchy rythmes that our mommies would scream 'Turn down that racket!". Very very heavy Bass reminds me a bit of Autopsy, with lots of great guitars and drums to make a very special sound. Albums like this make Old School Death Metal what it is, and I am a proud owner of this album
I have yet to hear an album put out by the enigmatic Grind Core Records that I didn't absolutely love. It astounds me that all of the Grind Core Records bands---with the possible exception of Broken Hope---remain so relatively unknown in the DM underground today. Paralysis is one such band whose obscurity is difficult to understand, given that they have made such amazing music---"Patrons of the Dark" is a very good record, indeed.
I can't believe the other guy ("Not Completely Worthless, but Pretty Damned Close") gave this album such a poor review!
This album makes me feel as if I am being slowly dragged into a dark cave inhabited by flesh-eating demons, miles and miles below the surface of the Earth. It's like knowing that those demons are about to catch on to your scent and will then disembowel without hesitation---this is an album about those moments before you're dismembered by demons, and maybe also those few moments while your severed head still has vision.
The strings section is foggy and muddy, with lots of palm-muting interspersed with rhythmic grinding and down-stroke picking that is very eerie and disturbing. The consistent and crisp mid-tempo drumming really makes you want to headbang your brains out---blasts are used sparingly, which makes them stand out like a decapitated giraffe.
Melodies are simple enough so as not to be obnoxious or showy, but the overall tone and atmosphere---aided in great part by the foggy production that I have already mentioned---certainly keeps them very interesting indeed. Melody is used not as the centerpiece, but rather as something to travel alongside the drumming. The melody itself is enough to headbang to; one can't imagine these melodies set to any other rhythmic structure but the one they already have.
The vocals keep a respectful pace with the instruments, again blending into the near-perfect unity of sounds. The voice is simultaneously desperate and threatening, cruel and foreboding, yet also hopeless. It is a very low, raspy, monotonous voice.
Some friends and I drank our guts out and smoked a bunch of weed and headbanged to this entire album. We simply couldn't press the stop button. We even had a non-metalhead in the room who was pretty much converted by the experience---our necks were sore for the next week.
Every band that I've heard on Grind Core Records has been totally amazing---almost perfect, I'd say. Dead Youth is one of the best, by the way. Paralysis certainly deserves a spot among the real "classics" of early 1990s death metal.
Track #3, "Scorched by Demons," has some very nice blasting work, and track #10, "Mausoleum," has the nauseating sick minor riffage that all of the Grind Core Records bands do so well. But then---every track on the album rules, so just listen to the whole thing.
In the early 1990's, death metal was at its peak. You could pretty much pick up any ten random albums, eight of which would be amazing, one average, and only one that would flat out suck. This Paralysis CD sits somewhere between those last two spots. When I originally found this disc in a used bin for $3, I decided to pick it up because of the cool cover, photos of the band posing in Nocturnus and Impaled Nazarene shirts, and the dark Lovecraft-inspired lyrics. Little did I know, the music was not nearly as interesting as everything else, and that's just putting it lightly. What Paralysis recorded here is a collection of mediocre, uninspired, boring death metal that rivals The Dead Youth as some of the worst garbage to ever come out on Grind Core International.
"Patrons of the Dark" has a very average production job, and not nearly heavy enough to suit the pseudo-NYDM that the band plays. The drumming sounds completely lifeless, especially the repetitive snare blasting and clicky double bass. The guitars are good for a thrash band, but they needed to be downtuned further in order to make this sound compelling. The vocals are generic, Cookie Monster-type growls that are boring beyond words. The bass guitar is the strongest instrument, sitting thick and high in the mix; but the presentation is very sloppy and a chore to follow.
The album contains eleven songs plus a couple brief intro/outro pieces that sound very bland and pretentious. The music is typical, mid-tempo death metal with some remote blasting sections desperately thrown into the mix. I would easily compare this to the monotony of Jungle Rot or Cannibal Corpse. It's hard to talk about the individual songs here because they all sound the same! Actually, most of them just seem like bits and pieces of songs that were thrown together at the last moment. The structures and riff selection are confusing and out of place, but not in that Carbonized or Human Remains way. Even the lengthier tracks like "Gates Reflected" and "Scorched By Demons" are completely boring, lacking any real climax or moments where you'd actually feel like paying close attention to what's going on. The only songs really worth talking about are the title track, where one of the very few memorable riffs appears around the 2:30 mark, and "Goredawn". The latter is a total Suffocation homage, but it's filled with sheer aggression and brutality, relying on catchy guitarwork and more traditional death metal structuring.
If you cut all but two of the tracks, beefed up the production, replaced the vocalist and released this on vinyl then we might be looking at a quality product here. But because this is reality and not the twilight zone, the album remains what it is - a collection of monotonous waste.