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Paul Chain : Park Of Reason

I should point out, right at the beginning of this review, that I am not a fan of traditional doom metal bands. They have never done anything for me, until now. When I first heard about Paul Chain, I heard that he plays unconventional traditional doom metal and that he is a giant of traditional doom, being in many other bands including Death SS, so for some reason I took a chance and bought this, his latest effort, 'Park Of Reason'. In short, I am extremely impressed and I am starting to reform my opinion on traditional doom, or should that be not-so-traditional doom?

The album kicks off in style with 'Solitude Man', a very strong traditional doom track, with some heavy and awesome riffing, with Paul Chain's clean singing on top. Whilst not being a huge fan of ordinary clean singing, I really like this style, it isn't over the top operatic warbling like Messiah period Candlemass, and doesn't go for too much, it just serves its purpose and lets the music do the talking. 'Solitude Man', continues to its logical conclusion with yet more excellent riffing and guitarwork, leading into '8 String Sweeo', which I don't know how to describe. It isn't traditional doom, it isn't death doom, it's just atmospheric doom, with reverbed spoken word and a steady beat with the occasional guitar flourish, the keys really take over in this track creating a fantastic ambience. 'Sanctuary Heave' follows in the same vein as 'Solitude Man' with some solid trad. doom backed by shards of haunting keys that add an unnerving edge to the tune and works really well before moving onto 'Continous Fix', another keyboard heavy track, which develops the use of dissonant keys to create a track that wouldn't sound out of place in a carnival gone horribly, horribly wrong. Which in reality is nothing compared to the insanity and weirdness of tracks to follow, which follow in this same vein of traditional doom, with unusual twists and turns. This strange combination is particularly prevalent in 'Stajness Klaus', which one has to hear to believe it. I couldn't even begin to describe it, it sounds like, well, I'm not sure, it features strange pulses and random keyboard notes intermittently thrown into the track alongside noisy/industrial elements and Paul Chain's vocals. Very, very weird, but it is somehow pulled off very well. The other strange track is the last, which is two tracks recorded in mono, and both put into a stereo recording, so in effect you are listening to two songs simultaneously unless you adjust the balance of your speakers. The strange thing is though, and I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but the track sounds good with both the tracks playing, as if they were orchestrated together, as they tend to build and subside in the same places, creating a surprisingly easy to listen to song. Or maybe it's just me [Editors note: yep, it’s just you]. Either way, you should still hunt down this record as it contains over an hour of extremely good not-so-traditional doom metal. And yes that's a new genre, I just coined it.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Solitude Man
2. 8 String Sweep
3. Sanctuary Heve
4. Continous Fix
5. War Abysses
6. Stajness Klaus
7. Let The End Begin
8. Wings Of Decadence
9. Ascension Of Any Pound
10. Ways Of Change
11. Logical Slow Evolution (left feed)
...In Time (right feed)

Duration : Approx. 75/90 minutes

Visit the Paul Chain bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Scott Wickens
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