Do you guys remember the comedy classic “There´s something about Mary”? Well, when it comes to metal with a progressive slant you´d be forgiven to say “There´s Something About Scandinavia”. Andromeda, Seventh Wonder, Circus Maximus, Pagan´s Mind, Anubis Gate, Seventh Dimension, Cloudscape, Royal Hunt, Darkwater, Leprous, Pain of Salvation, Vintersorg, Opeth and Divided Multitude are just the first bands that springs to mind, I could go on for quite some time, had I the… er… time. All of these and then I haven´t mentioned the burgeoning progressive rock scene. Nevertheless, Scandinavia produces a whole heap of progressive music and a whole heap of those artists avarage from great to bleeping brilliant.
Five years in the making since their debut-ep under the moniker The Paralydium Project, the now rebranded Paralydium races out of the gates as a pack of starving wolves picking up the scent of a nearby barbeque. And man, do they tuck in when they arrive.
This is nothing but pure class. Every single aspect of this record is executed as well as humanly possible. The sometimes Michael Romeo-esque guitarplaying courtesy of Johan Berg (ex-Dynazty) is fluid, inventive and a driving force that pushes Paralydiums sound to the forefront of modern progressive metal. The syncopated wall of heaviness that emanates from the formidable virtuoso duo of bassist Jonathan Olsson (Dynazty) and drummer Georg Härnsten-Egg (Dynazty) lays a intricate groundwork for the rest of the band to use as their playground. And that is exactly what keyboardist extraordinaire Mikael Blanc does all over these 45 minutes and his lead playing must be commented on and praised. And when it comes to the very important (for me at least) lead vocalist spot, us listeners are in for a treat. Michael Sehlin has taken seven mile strides since the ep and comes to the fore as a confident lead singer in his prime and his wide range and emotional delivery carries the listener on this exiting and winding road.
While Dynazty´s last four records all have had their fair share of progginess, this is next level stuff. Imagine, if you will, a mix between “Images and Words”-era Dream Theater, the aforementioned Symphony X, the tightness of Fates Warning, a couple of spoons of swedish melancholy and a dash of djent and you´re close to what these gentlemen are doing music wise.
The only thing that I´m missing on this album is that prog metal stahlwart; the huge, sprawling epic but here´s to next time, eh? The upside of this is that the record doesn´t outstay its welcome and when the music is this good, who am I to complain?
Stargazed Magazine Readers:
-You always complain, yet you seem to love everything! Go back to your lawnchair, you old fart!
Marty Methuselah Nygren:
– Alright, alright, keep your nappies on there, you yuppies! I just happen to have great plans for this day. I´ll start off by eating some prunes and prydonian pears to get the old keg back in working order. Then I´ll go and have a listen to Steven Wilsons backwardsmix of Yes´s “Tales From Hippiegraphic Islands” featuring a long thought lost marimba solo by Alan Whites buttocks, a short clip of Jon Anderson arguing with God and the poolboy about the pro- and cons of horseradish and four remarkable minutes capturing that special moment when Chris Squire ate a cucumber sandwich sideways! Oh happy day!
Title: Worlds Beyond
Release Date: 12 June 2020
Duration: 45 minutes
Place of origin: Sweden
Standout tracks: Within The Sphere, Crystal of Infinity, Seeker of The Light