As Paradise Falls – ‘Digital Ritual’

Digital Ritual – Slightly sinister gentle acoustic intro, soon replaced by a crash of aggressive metal. Sadly, it ends way too soon, but it’s hopefully, a good indicator of things to come.

Balance – As predicted, the noisy aggression continues, with a very deathy intro, complete with monster roars, heavy handed instrumentals and a touch of tech metal sounds. Another brief track, but plenty of loudness packed into it.

Star Blind – Opening differently, with a helicopter rotor blade sound effect and some lighter, yet greyish vocals. The angry death vibes soon take over, though, this time, they’re interspersed with more melodic ones. Slightly longer than the previous tracks, but still fairly short. Technically focused and competently so.

The Ultimate Consumer – Increasing the tech metal aspect, along with the deathy essence, one thing that can be said for this is that it’s hard and heavy. Still, carrying some softer, echoic vocals, interwoven in a ghostly way, with the rage and turmoil. Again, it ends there.

Automated Sacrifice – A sense of eastern mysticism in the intro riffs, though it’s blasted out of the air, by the returning death focus. Lots more of that and not much else, really. At this point, it’s in danger of losing the thread of its own point, through the incessant blood rage and thunder.

Glory To The Server – A battery of machine-gun drumming, more blackened anger and though it’s unarguably powerful and does inject some clearer, more melodic vocals, it needs more lyrical emphasis.

Reborn – A freer, more pleasant intro, now the track’s being allowed to breathe. The death angle still remains, but at least here, there’s some room for manoeuvre and changes of direction. An increase in melody, which does add greater depth of meaning, even if briefly. Yes, it’s still infected with that melancholic feel, but there’s a clearer strand, breaking up the death metal intensity. Slight improvement.

Dead Message – An intriguing sense to this intro, with hints of magical possibilities. Rapidly blotted out, once more, by blackened anger. However, there’s space, into which brief melody’s inserted, but it’s still not losing the melancholia at all. Unlike the rest, it ends on the audible lyrics, yet seems insistently depressive.

Hysteria – More melodic, power based riffs intro, but if anything, the screams and shouts are gaining in aggression. They do interweave between lighter, softer vocals, though and there’s a marginally more uplifting tone. It just doesn’t get chance to come out and show its chops, though, cos once again, the track’s over, before it’s had more than a couple of bars, to evoke the prospect of hope.

Pride & Disgrace – Throwing down the metal vibe, with a veritable thunder storm of steel, this may well be the strongest track. If nothing else, there’s plenty of emotion poured into it. It’s so brief, though, that yet again, there isn’t chance to experience anything else in or through it. At least this final track can be said to lose the misery. It’s audibly more upbeat, so gets points for that.

Overall – Passable, in terms of technical proficiency and audio quality. Its main issues are inadequately short track lengths and lack of variety. It’d just benefit from including a greater mix of melody and lyricism, otherwise, it’s in danger of losing any poignant meaning or messages, through violent noise and unchanging monotony. A bit of uplift would work wonders. For those who just want something to smash things to, though, this’ll do the trick.

5/10 *****

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