Paladin
Ascension

Sometimes as a reviewer social networking helps.  A YouTube link from a record label might pop across your timeline and give you the choice to listen to or not.   Thus was the case with Atlanta’s Paladin and their video for their tune, “Shoot for the Sun”.  First off, the riffing is so over the top metal you would swear that these guys have been together for over ten years and also the fact they are from Atlanta blows me away as they sound like they could come from a handful of European countries.  Needless to say I reached out to a handful of friends who said that these guys absolutely crushed at Progpower in Atlanta a few years ago. Paladin place a very aggressive, peppy form of Power Thrash Metal that is unbelievably catchy and well played.

Ascension kicks off with “Awakening” which opens with some gorgeous vibrato harmonies and melodies followed by guitarist/vocalist Taylor Washington’s Rob Halfordesque Falsetto.  It is worth noting as well that Taylor Washington is the touring guitarist for Melodic death Metal band Arsis.  I cannot get over how aggressively up beat each track is.  It feels like listening like a more up-tempo Helloween or Gamma Ray.  For being a release of over forty minutes Paladin does an excellent job mixing up tempos and arrangement throughout the album.   I got to hand it to Prosthetic Records on this one.  Prosthetic has really be branching out with their roster and these guys are absolutely a fantastic addition.  The lead work of Washington and second guitarist Alex Parra has all of the notey flash of duos like Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis which is a high compliment.

Tracks like “Divine Providence” show Washington’s ability to throw out gruffer death metal vox and then add in the traditional metal vocals as contrast.  Having been together since 2015 these guys definitely put the work into honing their sound with releasing two demos prior to this 2019 release.  Paladin strike me as a metal group that could draw in fans from all sorts of different subgenres.  Hell yes! “Carpe Diem” is one of the thrashier tempo tunes.   I am sitting here shaking my head at how impressive the melodious lead work is on virtually every track.

As I said earlier, these guys sound like they have been jamming for more like ten years together with how locking in and how effortless each track flows. If you are looking for something more traditional metal wise with more modern influences. This probably will be your cup of tea.  I cannot stop listening to this and will definitely have this towards the top of my 2019 end of year list.  Watch the “Shoot for the Sun” video and judge for yourself.  This is a catalyst to hair whips, fist shaking and circle pits.  Guaranteed.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
May 28th, 2019

Comments

  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    Nick-excellent review. Thanks for sharing this great album; it shreds. \m/


  2. Commented by: Nick K

    Thanks Frank! I can’t stop listening to this and the new Flotsam and Jetsam record.. man..


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