I am a big fan of the concept of EPs- especially for up and coming bands or for groups that are formations of a few bands brought together. You can always tell when an EP is thrown together to get your name out there or when it is really the culmination of years of work- leaving and revisiting the same songs, adding different transitions and making it a unique track. You can tell from even a casual listen to Paralyze, the new EP from PANICWOLF, that the latter is the case.
The album opens up with a short, but solid, track called “Sink”. “Sink” showcases an excellent combination of clean vocals and screaming. It also has a really cool ending, using screaming vocals only over chants for a unique finish. “Bury Me” showcases incredibly engaging group vocals and a very catchy chorus. This song uses some heavy transitions from verse to chorus and back. Really cool transition that has guitar drop out and has a cool bass run. One cool takeaway is that it is very unpredictable musically. I have a ton of respect for how many different, intricate pieces are run through this track. I am sure it is amazing live to see how well they piece together the timing and pauses as well as various transitions.
The third track is “Naivety”, which starts off on a high note with a very heavy, syncopated guitar bass and drums in the introduction and moves into an awesome use of transitions between clean guitar picking and super heavy riffs. The verse is unique, as it is spoken word from a speech about UFOs and government cover ups. I have heard songs use spoken word samples, but never as the verse lines of a song in its entirety- it is a unique approach that definitely lands.
“Misery” is the single from the album. The standouts from this track are certainly the amazing heavy vocals and transitions. The hook is engaging and brings you in. The song comes from a very emotional place and you can feel pain in the lyrics. There is an awesome underlying bass line that is featured a few times throughout. This track really landed with me.
The final track is “Demon Speak”, which may be the best track on the album. There is a really cool build up with harmonics and chanting in the beginning, which builds into an almost panicked drum solo and straight into the heaviest song on the album. This opening sequence is hardcore at its finest. As heavy as the initial part of the verse feels, it does still build from there. The chorus is catchy and slightly less heavy than the verse, but the transitions are amazing and make it seamless. Initially they use a pause, but the second transition features no backing to an intense screaming vocal. The bridge to this song lets way back down to harmonics and a heavier chant which builds back up to fade out.
This album only comes in at 15 minutes in length, but there is a ton of substance. This band has been put off and pushed to the side due to commitments to other projects, but you can tell that the time it took to make this EP was well worth it. It is crisp and has a ton of fun transitions. It almost feels like the same riff never repeats itself. Paralyze is out everywhere on August 24 via Pale Chord Music– make sure to check it out!
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