You could be forgiven for thinking that 2020 was not the best of years to get a band on its feet. Well believe it or not it has happened here – enter Pariiah from New Jersey. Featuring former members of Devoid Of Faith, Kill Your Idols and Das Oath amongst others. If you recall, Das Oath was a transatlantic band/ project, so these guys are well prepped in the art of not doing things by the book. The musical picture they paint is a desolate one.
All six songs pound along at a slow, almost morbid tempo, piling on atmosphere that is punctuated by the occasional haunting guitar melody. Imagine bands like Nausea, Celtic Frost or Winter and you get an idea of the level of bleakness we are talking about. Downtuned guitars, a low rumble of bass, a drum-kit that takes a battering and tortured vocals complete the image. I even spotted a death grunt in opening track Message of Pain.
With a solid production by Anthony Corallo (Sheer Terror) and stark artwork courtesy of Mark McCoy (Das Oath), you get the complete package. I remember one morning last year when the snow lay thick on the ground of a black and white world at dawn, and thinking the only appropriate soundtrack for the scene would be by Winter – this year I think Pariiah will provide my anthems to grimness. Tom Chapman