Paroxysm
Revelation is Denied

I deliberately reviewed this album next to Merlin’s lackluster effort to show that Great White North has some decent bands on their roster besides Merlin, Divina Enema, and Aggression AD. OK, so they have Fuck The Facts which saves them immeasurably, but they also have this nifty little Canadian outfit called Paroxysm. With artwork done by artist François Quévillon, (Cryptopsy), an intro scored by Miguel Roy (ex-Cryptopsy) and a guest appearance on backing vocals by Flo Mounier (Cryptospy), you don’t need to be a genius to figure out where Paroxysm’s influences lie.

Purveying a similar sort of complex brutality as their fellow Canadian peers, but with a measure of restraint, Paroxysm’s debut effort is a worthwhile and entertaining slab of intricate ferocity. With slightly less note noodling and mind numbing convolution than Cryptopsy, Paroxysm’s slightly short first album (25 minutes) is still chock full of shuddering time changes as well as more traditional US based death metal (Suffocation mostly) mechanics. It’s all rounded of by a stout production and solid song writing that sounds a little like some of the more modern death metal I’ve heard such as Trauma and Yyrkoon. Of course, that being said, this is still just death metal, so isn’t breaking any boundaries, but it’s a pretty enjoyable offering nonetheless.

After Roy’s “Golden Panoramas”, Paroxysm burst into the pummeling and aptly titled (Paroxysm means convulsion or spasm) “Profound Emotional Paroxysm” with Sébastien Tremblay screaming and growling with a seething intensity (similar to Kataklysm’s Maurizio Iacono) over voracious guitars that switch deftly from sturdy lumber to raging staccato vortex. Unfortunately it also highlights the album wide weakness of drummer Franck Camus who simply cannot handle ultra fast blast beats very well. “Addiction to Illusion” emphasizes the Suffocation comparison with a stout lurch amid the swirling maelstrom, and the albums most memorable riff introduces “Humanimality”, three tracks in and I’m pretty impressed, despite the somewhat shoddy drumming. Luckily, Camus gets a few breathers by getting to play a few massive lumbering bears also, as heard to start “Regime of Holy Terror”, before it careens into more extreme Northern savagery. The albums longest track, closer “Mummified Principle” culls from Kataklysm’s slightly blacker, melodic tones before rupturing with a mid-song break and back again.

Other than being criminally short and having some weak percussion (nothing a new drummer could not fix), Paroxysm appear to have all the elements to be a rising star in the burgeoning Canadian scene, and with Cryptopsy undergoing line-up issues, and Kataklysm becoming slightly predictable, Paroxysm could be poised to pull the rug under from both of them.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 3rd, 2005

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