Digital Ritual - As Paradise Falls
Artist: As Paradise Falls
Album: Digital Ritual
Review by Steve Jenkins
Hailing from Brisbane, As Paradise Falls are redefining the Australian metal scene with their own unique style of aggressive metal and mystical melody that transports the listener to a magical place. In November of 2015, while recording in Thailand, one of their own passed away, as the band suffered the extremely unfortunate loss of guitarist Glen Barrie. It took some time for the band to recoup and get back on track, but now the legacy of their fallen brother continues as his performance is still with us on this record. Did they do him proud? The answer is a resounding yes.
Not many bands can say that they legitimately put blood, sweat and tears into recording a new album, but there's zero doubt that As Paradise Falls put absolutely everything they had into Digital Ritual. Joining the band is new vocalist, Shaun Coar, and new guitarist, Jimmy Upson. There are moments of pure rage, emotion, passion, aggression, and some of the most intense and brutal breakdowns you'll hear on this record.
The album starts off with a spacey soundscape accompanied by a full on assault featuring crushing guitars and mammoth sounding drums, pumping up the listener for the brutality that is about to erupt. Next we go bursting into the track 'Balance' which is an explosion of heaviness, with thunderous drums, shredding guitars and savage vocals on this short but fierce offering.
'Star Blind' was the very first taste of new material that we got to hear back in February. Being the lead single on the album, it showcases all of the elements that make As Paradise Falls such a multi-layered act. It's captivating, enthralling, enraged and impassioned. Despite being gone, Barrie's guitar work shines through like a bright glow beaming from the sky, with melody and power that makes you pump your fist to the earth shattering sound. The current guitarists keep the legacy alive also, with swift alternating melodies and annihilating riffs that balance their sound tremendously. A couple of other standout tracks include 'The Ultimate Consumer' and 'Dead Message' both of which are blisteringly heavy and very memorable.
The running lyrical theme for Digital Ritual seems to be the argument of whether we as a human race are better off with or without the advanced technology that we abuse and use each and every day. Shaun Coar's vocal presence is an impressive one, going from beautiful and powerful clean singing, to devastatingly harsh growls and screams.
As Paradise Falls have delivered something that not only their departed guitarist would be proud of, but also their entire fanbase and new listeners alike. It's an array of strong sounding metal mixed with melody and majestic moments that compliment each other perfectly. If Unearth and Devin Townsend somehow gave birth to a band, you would get As Paradise Falls, and then some. You must check this out, it's quite remarkable.
9 out of 10 stars.
Digital Ritual is out July 21st via Eclipse Records. Pre-order is HERE.
Watch the video for the track 'Star Blind' below: