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Parallax - Mediums and Messages (Cover Artwork)

Parallax

Parallax: Mediums and MessagesMediums and Messages (2006)
Counterintelligence

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Color me surprised. In a genre I've long considered all but dead and buried, Parallax has injected some life, and more surprisingly (no insult to them) some intelligence into the metalcore genre. Steering clear of the double bass and lyrics about death pitfalls that so many of their peers fall in.


Color me surprised.

In a genre I've long considered all but dead and buried, Parallax has injected some life, and more surprisingly (no insult to them) some intelligence into the metalcore genre. Steering clear of the double bass and lyrics about death pitfalls that so many of their peers fall into, Parallax instead offer a fairly diverse and engaging 40 minutes of music.

The intelligence and tackling of social issues on this record is what's most striking, and it's much more important than any quick chord progressions or pounding drum fills could ever be.

In the 1970s Bringham Young University, unbeknownst to the American public, was conducting a hideous and morally repugnant program. The aim of this program was to "cure" gay students of their homosexual nature. This was attempted through an ultimatum of going through electroshock therapy, or being expelled from the university completely. Three students hung themselves as a result of this "program," and many more were mentally scarred in a way that could never be reversed. "Nameless" was a song written about those incidents, and it perfectly encapsulates just how horrible and unforgiving human beings can be.

He will cure us, he will hear our pleas / Rebuild us, remake us. Rebuild us, he will remake in his image, as saintly as he be / [?] / Purge these lascivious thoughts, burn them from our flesh / Pluck them from our eyes, no more to crave our own / [?] / With aversion and prayers, eyes wide open / I'll make you as straight as any pure man, they did not find Zion in electroshock.
Those words come so fluidly and passionately from the mouth of the late Blake Donner, and the album is full of many similar moments. Sure, the guitar work is great. The progressions are quick and unrelenting, they decline or escalate on a moment's notice, perfectly conforming to the ups and downs of Donner's vocal delivery. And sure, the drumming and bass work are both great in their own right. Neither exemplary, but both strong enough to anchor the heaviness of the record. But Donner, Donner is the real heart and soul of the album. His words become more powerful by the minute, tackling issues such as the oppression of Utah's Mormon churches, to the struggle of the working class man just to survive, each song painting an eloquent but powerful portrait.

Inevitably, many people will look at this as just another metalcore record. Another one to throw on the pile. And to those people, I say -- you're missing the boat entirely. Mediums and Messages has passion, intensity, and sincerity in spades. Great musicianship and a message to match, I wish there was more like it.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Antlerand - BranchesAs Hope Dies - As Hope DiesThe First Step - What We KnowHaunted Life / Make or Break - SplitDead Hearts - Bitter VersesPath of Resistance - Can't Stop the TruthWires on Fire - Wires on FireNow Soldiers - Sick WorldCastle - Electric WolvesBalboa / Nitro Mega Prayer - Split

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 6, 2006)

This cd is very great. Good reveiw. Its nice to know that Parallax is starting to be recognized. RIP RIOT.

SilentStorms (November 29, 2006)

I really want to listen to this, but the link doesn't work ...

TheMarc (November 27, 2006)

I can't tell if this band's name is a Green Lantern reference or not, but if it is, this score is for them.

eyeslikebombs (November 26, 2006)

Brigham Young University, you meant.

And excellent review.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

This cd is soooo good

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

Awesome band. However, there should be a ban on declaring genres dead. That way, more self-important assholes would shut the fuck up.

miker (November 24, 2006)

This is really good.

Anonymous (November 24, 2006)

This came out many, many months ago. Good to see it reviewed here. RIP Blake.

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