It’s Wednesday. The most hated of days after Monday, consequently making it the perfect day to turn that around and introduce you to some music you (probably) haven’t heard.
Though I probably should have known about these guys beforehand—two of the members are/were in the legendary German black metal outfit, Bethlehem—it wasn’t until today that I discovered Paragon Belial.
Formed way back in 1994, as a side-project to Bethlehem, Paragon Belial has released a total of two full-lengths, the first in 1996 and the most recent, Noferathu Sathanis, in 2008. Although they’ve seemed to impress the general metal public with their black metal offerings, these guys don’t get much in the way of publicity. More's the pity.
PB have, over the years, honed a unique raw black metal sound that, for lack of a better description, won't let the more “traditional” fans of the genre down or alienate any new comers with obscurity. Their latest album is just straight up fast, riffy, and thrash-inspired black metal without many bells or whistles. The production is bright (mids way up the way they should be) and in lieu of focusing on complex timing or riffs, PB just toss you right into a churning, hateful abyss and wish you the best of luck on your 38 minute journey.
The highlight of the album has to be the track Goatspawn. I hit repeat on that beast like 20 times before I was satisfied and even thinking about it now my hand is clenching into a claw and I'm feeling that grim reserve that only comes on after hearing a great black metal track that speaks to the soul. There you'll find an amazing sample from the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Other bands need take note of the delivery of this sample because I'll be fucked with a tree branch if it isn't one of the best uses of one I've ever heard.
Immediately following Goatspawn are another two of the albums highlights, a Hammerfall cover and the ultra-groovy Abomoth. The first plays a little like some of Darkthrone’s more recent offerings while the latter is just a really solid track exemplifying what this band is capable of at their best.
The rest of Noferathu Sathanis comes and goes pretty quickly and all said might not reach the same level of excellence I saw in beginning and midpoints but remains a worthy listen nonetheless. The album’s closing anthem, Black Metal United & Strong, wraps things up and sends you on your way abruptly, without any fanfare, itching for more. Go ahead and hit that repeat button when you get there.
Here's a few tracks for your listening pleasure and if you don’t take the time to at least listen to Goatspawn I'll magically appear and bop you in the nose...