REACH FOR THE STARS [EP]
Release: July 8, 2019
Dutch melodic death metal band Cyanide Paradise have independently released their debut EP “Reach for the Stars” on July 8. Taking inspiration from bands like Amon Amarth, Devin Townsend, Scar Symmetry and Mors Principium Est, the band aims to present their variety of stories through powerful melody-driven songs. They distinguish themselves with their epic sound, while maintaining a broad diversity within their songs, both musically and lyrically.
When I first heard the name Cyanide Paradise, I immediately thought of the lyric ‘my cyanide in Paradise’ from Kamelot’s “Falling like the Fahrenheit” (Silverthorn, 2012), but as vocalist Linn Liv explains in this interview, the name:
Reach for the Stars
“hints at being in a dark place where one feels there is only one solution to escape and reach a better spot. This does tie in very well with some themes and stories we have planned for our songs”.
Listening to the EP you really do get this sensation of a ‘dark place’ because the music in itself is pretty dark and gloomy but with just a hint of thrash metal coming from the guitar lines, which give the songs both a nice tempo and some more melody, than what you get from the vocals and drums, balancing the music nicely. Slow burner “Subatomic” is pretty straightforward, and doesn’t offer much variety and it also seems to drag a bit towards the end, reason why I feel it’s not on par with the rest, but still it works well as an introduction to this EP.
Following track “Enlightenment” spices thing up with some groovy guitar riffs and melodic lines, and intense drums while Linn Liv and Martin Vos share the vocal duties making the song more dynamic and interesting. The heavy “Pestilence” is even more rhythmic and dynamic starting on a pounding drums and chugging guitar riffs, while the vocals are ominous, giving the song a sense of gloom and urgency. I really like the guitar melody and solo in this one, and the way it plays off of the vocal delivery. Closing track “Reach for the stars” is another heavy and aggressive number with a melodic feel to it, again thanks to the guitar work but also the vocal delivery. Generally, I am not a fan of chugging guitar patterns, but on this EP, especially in “Pestilence” and “Reach for the Stars”, they work pretty well, as they, coupled with Jeff Wennekes’ bass lines, add extra layers of atmosphere and texture to the melody, which I can really appreciate.
In between Linn Liv’s deep and grave growls, and Martin Vos’s guitarwork, I’m not sure which impressed me the most, as they both did such a great job here, making me want this EP to be longer than 4 track. But these songs really got my attention and interest in what Cyanide Paradise will do next, because, if they keep this up, they will go a long way on the metal scene. Personal highlights: “Reach for the Stars” and “Enlightenment”.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Martin Vos – guitar and vocals
Jeff Wennekes – bass
Linn Liv – vocals