I’ve been eager to get my hands on this ever since hearing the excellent track, StarBlind. As Paradise Falls are a Brisbane based metal act standing on the precipice of greatness with this, their latest release, Digital Ritual.
From tragedy comes triumph. In 2015, As Paradise Falls lost their guitarist Glen Barrie when he passed away unexpectedly in his sleep whilst the band was in Thailand recording an album. It was a huge loss, but the band has regrouped and recorded this, their best release by far. The album features Glen’s guitar work, together with new vocalist Sean Coar. As Paradise Falls are heavy, melodic, and in Digital Ritual they have produced one of my favourite records of the year thus far.
This album is a ferocious metal onslaught from start to finish, and at the forefront of this is vocalist Sean Coar; a singer equally adept at bringing down the walls with his ferocious bark but one also capable of producing moments of melodic beauty, none more so evident than on lead single StarBlind which combines the bands trademark stop-start riffing with both clean and aggressive vocals. It’s a great song and without doubt one of the albums very best. Automated Sacrifice leads listeners into a false sense of security with its softly spoken intro before unleashing a torrent of crushing riffs. Things don’t let up with Glory To The Server, a track featuring a melodic chorus and another intense vocal. Reborn is the albums longest track (still only 4:10) and has a catchy intro before normal service is resumed. There is a real nice breakdown in this song too and this listeners ears are now starting to feel the repercussions of an album with more than its fair share of crushing tunes. Dead Message is the second track to be taken from the album. A relentless barrage of grinding guitars and powerful vocals. It’s an angry song that doesn’t let up until the two-minute mark where there is a spoken vocal part with some excellent lead work to follow. Hysteria (no, not a cover of the Def Leppard track) is another solid tune but it’s Pride And Disgrace that features a little hint of industrial metal at the start. This track has a bit of everything going on, combining elements of everything good that has come before into a maelstrom of white noise…great stuff!
The albums overall running time is pretty short by today’s standards, but I don’t mind that. The band get in, bash you around for a little over thirty minutes and then leave, resulting in a trip to the audiometrist to get your ears checked out. The production and mixing are sharp and I hope this album brings the band to a much wider audience. There is a lot of passion on show, particularly from vocalist Coar, but he is nothing without the backing of an excellent band that knows when to crush and when to release. A fine album indeed.
4.5/5 shattered ear drums from the Grim Reader.
Check the band out here.
Check out Eclipse Records for more great rock and metal bands here.
Tragedy can happen to anyone, at any time, and Australia’s As Paradise Falls never expected anything out of the ordinary. While recording their album in 2015, the unexpected passing of their guitarist Glen Barrie put everythingon hold, and immediately changed their perspective. Now, after clawing their way back from immense tragedy, As Paradise Falls have returned with a new album, ‘Digital Ritual’. To underestimate As Paradise Falls, would clearly be a mistake…
Australian metal outfit As Paradise Falls burst into the metal scene with the release of their EP ‘Save Yourself‘ in 2014. The band quickly made a name for themselves as the EP broke into the iTunes Metal chart at #5. The band took Australia by storm on their first national tour, and quickly followed up with a run through New Zealand and additional runs across their home country throughout 2015.
In November 2015, while the band was recording their second album with producer Shane Edwards (Northlane, Trophy Eyes, Hellions) at Karma Sound Studios in Thailand, they were invited to support I Killed the Prom Queen in Bangkok. The night before the show, guitarist Glen Barrie tragically passed away in his sleep, leading the remaining band members to leave the album unfinished, and take some time to grieve the loss of their brother.
The outpour of support from fans and friends was overwhelming. On November 27 of 2015, a bunch of bands in the scene held a benefit show for Glen’s wife and son. When one of these bands (A Breach of Silence) mentioned the show to their label, that led to the band getting on the radar of Eclipse Records A&R executive Chris Poland. In early 2016 the band regrouped with a new vocalist (Shaun Coar), and a new guitarist (Jimmy Upson). By the end of the year, they finished ‘Digital Ritual’, keeping Glen’s performance on the album, and thereby preserving his legacy.
In February of 2017, the band independently released a single from the new album entitled ‘Starblind’ which premiered on Triple J’s The Racket. The accompanying video clip had also premiered via Metal Hammer. “On the day the single was released, I got an email from Chris at Eclipse” stated guitarist Danny Kenneally. “Chris had previously followed us on Spotify, and we came up in his Release Radar. When he asked if we had any more material, I told him about the new album and he immediately offered to put it out via Eclipse. I never thought we’d end up getting a record deal because of Spotify, but… that’s kind of how it happened.” Within a few weeks, the band signed to Eclipse Records, and began preparing for the album’s release.