Thursday 8 June 2023

Paracrona - Sun God

Labels: Self-Released

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 24 May 2023


1. New Impurity

2. Carry The Cross (feat. Baard Kolstad)

3. Thriller (feat. Baard Kolstad)

4. Sun God

5. Mendacious

6. River Of Pain

7. Therefore I Move The Time

8. Gates Of Immortality

9. Reasons

Staring at my laptop screen isn't going to help me write anything, especially when I've seen Norwegian band Paracrona described as Symphonic Black Metal, Progressive Death Metal and Blackened Progressive Metal by three separate PR agencies. I'm not criticising them but how am I supposed to write an accurate review if I can't adequately describe Paracrona's sound. I'll have to do it the only way I know how, which is to listen to the band themselves.

Paracrona is a sextet of musicians from multiple locations (I guess you could call it an international band). Formed by Ringo Christiaan van Droffelaar (Netherlands) and Oystein Hansen (Norway)  alongside a host of musicians that have contributed to bands such as ICS Vortex, Greve and Fortid amongst others. Sun God goes beyond simple black metal, so let's see what Paracrona has in store.

Sun God stretches out for almost an hour, which is bold for a debut album. Opener ‘New Impurity’ begins with a lengthy orchestral/symphonic passage that abruptly leads into a sound that’s rooted in black metal, unsurprisingly. It has some really progressive moments, thanks to the guitar work that adds a boat load of melody. I was worried about keys/synths taking over but it isn’t the case here. Paracrona actually describe their music as ‘quantum realism metal’, which is a new descriptor amongst many. ‘Carry The Cross’ features the guest drumming of ICS Vortex’s Baard Kolstad, which is kind of strange given that Paracrona already have a drummer in the form of Laszlo Juhos. Whatever their thought process is here, ‘Carry The Cross’ is a ferocious black metal number,

The second song to feature Baard Kolstad is ‘Thriller’. Don’t let the rock ’n’ roll intro fool you here as before long Paracrona launches straight back into their rip-roaring black metal. One thing’s for sure; you’ll get your money’s worth from this release thanks to it’s song lengths alone. The albums’s title track ’Sun God’ features a more mid-paced, post-black metal vibe in between the more up-tempo passages that make up the majority of the song. As with the album so far, it’s very accomplished and scratches the extreme metal itch, yet there’s something missing for me (and I’m struggling to put my finger on it, which means it’s probably inconsequential).

The progressive tag that’s been assigned to Paracrona is pretty spot on, especially when listening to ‘Mendacious’ and it’s epic lead guitar work. It gets the heart rate going, which is the feeling that’s been missing so far. The bass-heavy tones of ‘River Of Pain’ are slightly at odds with it’s symphonic blueprint, though thankfully that blueprint is subtle. I have to say that the more I listen to this album, the more it’s growing on me. ‘Therefore I Move The Time’ is on the more progressive end of the spectrum, with additional time-signature changes amongst it’s black metal arsenal of blasts and riffs. The choral and melodic mid-section changes the mood, bringing it back from the icy depths.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of power metal or true symphonic/operatic metal, but I hear elements of those sub-genres nestling in Paracrona’s music, especially on ‘Gates Of Immortality’. Obviously, theirs is a much stronger and more extreme sound overall but the use of different musical elements do help to elevate that sound to a higher place. Definitely leaving the best to last, ‘Reasons’ comes at you energetically right from the off. Twisting and turning through Paracrona’s various states of heaviness, to their most introspective and melodic. It’s the lengthiest song on Sun God and also it’s grandest.

Overall this is a very strong album. I didn’t know what to expect fully when I hit play and may have been slightly bias towards black metal bands with even greater progression recently, but I really enjoyed this one and it’s balance between cold Norwegian black metal and European melodic metal.

You can stream and purchase Sun God digitally below:-

CD copies and other merch can be purchased here -

Paracrona -

No comments:

Post a Comment