Metalcore may be the most loaded term in modern underground music. For most it means you sound like Hatebreed or for the slightly more adventurous Heaven Shall Burn. Either way, you're running the risk of monotony and probably jokes at your expense from those too cool. While I say this, there was a time in the 90's that metalcore was new and a more dangerous Slayer loving cousin to hardcore itself. Parasitic Skies hearken back to that kind of metalcore. There is a viciousness and danger to what they play that doesn't sit with the listener in the way metalcore seems to otherwise.
What you get from this Parasitic Skies on their first full-length is short sharp blasts of metal worshipping hardcore. The great part is it's not just the usual Slayer worship (not that Slayer is bad either) but many different types of metal. There's the divebombs employed by most metal guitarists along with the brutality of death metal and the vocals of black metal. The rage is palpable from the speedy but on point drumming to the way the guitarist is able to break through the mix shift tempos and not get everything else lost.
There are only a few complaints about this disc. Clearly the vocals are a selling point as they are different from almost any major hardcore band I can think of. They are strong but not overpowering and gruff without touching the cartoonish cookie monster growls. The unfortunate part of this is there are about half the songs in which the vocals get buried in the mix. This makes the vocals act as another instrument rather than the leader. The other complaint resides in the fact that this album is really short, clocking in at under a half an hour with nine songs (three of which are instrumentals). The instrumentals are very good and carry the darkened mood of the record very well. I feel as though this could be a much stronger record had there been a few more songs to keep things going.
The last thing I'll mention is the artwork. It is black, mostly, which fits everything about this album perfectly. This looks more like a death metal album that was put together independently rather than most hardcore albums I can think of. Everything sits in its proper place. The complaint could be from the lack of expanding on the ideas of the front and back cover and putting more artwork on the inside of the package. Overall this is a very strong argument for a rebirth of metalcore residing outside the Hatebreeds of the world. This disc is definitely worth having from a band that is more than worthy of your money and support.
8.7 / 10
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