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Review of the Album "Empyrean" by Swedish Melodic Thrash and Death Metal Band Paranorm

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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Paranorm may not be one of the most eye catching band names but their debut album Empyrean released on February 26, 2021 is a masterpiece to enjoy! Yes I know it is early to consider an album a masterpiece when you haven’t even listened to an album all the way through but with certain albums there is this moment where you realize how special some albums are.

Analyzing the Creativity of the Band Paranorm

Paranorm has been in existence since 2008 but after releasing two mini albums and one demo, Empyrean is upon us here in 2021. It takes some bands a long time to finally release their debut album and for Sweden’s Paranorm the wait has proven to be worth it. Imagine Ensiferum style vocals with intricate melodic parts and very good solos and this is how this debut album is in terms of its style. Paranorm is a very creative kind of band using what I would say is mostly melodic death metal. However, by the end of the first listen, what you see are lyrics that are very introspective and they address the flaws of human nature as well as the need to move beyond humanity, perhaps becoming more godlike. Paranorm is a band from Sweden that displays high levels of creativity and melody in their songs which would attract guitar players around the world. The lyrical themes also deal with addressing the fact that there is so much more than what we can perceive with our own eyes as there is a vast Universe that extends.

"The Immortal Generation"

Analysis of the Album Cover for Empyrean

The album has a rather interesting cover. It has a few of the planets of the Solar System displayed as well as two hands reaching for something. I interpret the cover as symbolizing the fight between good and evil. In the middle of the album’s cover is a skull which is one of the representations of death. Once a human being dies and their body disintegrates, a skull is left over.

About the Songs In Empyrean

The song “Lost Cause” has an interlude that reminds me of the band Kalmah. The song is talking about the dangers of being too ignorant as weakness will lead to the downfall of society. The message of “face this lost cause” is uttered throughout the song. What isn’t a lost cause is this album which has 8 outstanding songs to create one of the best metal albums of 2021! The chorus of the first song “Critical Mass” is audible even to those of us that aren’t used to death metal vocals. “The Immortal Generation” is a song that lyrically some of us can connect with given the fact that some of us are interested in life extension. Technology is the thing that will help us ascend beyond humanity. Can we really stop death altogether? The song also has a really good interlude in it. The interludes are a few of the best ones I’ve heard. Unfortunately the spread of disease, aging and death is common but science and advances in medicine have increased the human life span in many countries. The message that the band brings up about doing things to be more than human is certainly an admirable goal. This second song also mentions that humans were not meant to tread into the heavens and that there is no death without life and the purpose is washed away. The purpose for human life is to learn certain spiritual lessons and Paranorm brings up the subject for thought and analysis. “The Immortal Generation” has a part that sounds like a modern version of the band Kreator. “Intelligence Explosion” is a melodic song about the fact that humans have evolved to survive and once our intelligence gets to a higher point and we become better at understanding what really goes on in the Universe we encounter what is a paradigm shift. Lyrically Empyrean is one of the most lyrically complex albums that there is in the metal genre but the brilliant musicianship will take your mind off of it. “Empyrean” the title track sounds like the songs that Swiss thrash metal band Comaniac would write. The thing is though that the vocals are of a raspy kind instead of a standard or rougher kind of voice.

"Lost Cause"

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The Greatness of Empyrean

One user on YouTube commented that they are proud to be Swedish. If I were of Swedish origin, I would be proud of the work on this album! It seems that society is falling but in reality, society is evolving. This is one of the best metal albums released in any decade since the start of the heavy metal genre!

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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