Up-and-coming metal outfit Paladin has kept busy this year. The band opened the year with the release of its three song EP Anamnesis. The band’s second-ever studio recording, it is a tribute to Nevermore. Its release was followed by a short live run before COVID-19 started spreading across America. The band did not let the virus’ spread stop the music though, instead performing through a series of livestream events. As the old year bids farewell and the new year nears, the band recently announced that it is in the running to take part in another livestream event with other acts in the ‘iVoted Festival.” The festival, which started during the 2018 midterm election, is a way to encourage voters in Georgia to get involved in the state’s two Senate races that will determine control of the senate at the federal level. Audiences can vote for the band to take part in the festival now here. Audiences who need convincing to vote for Paladin need only listen to the band’s 2019 debut album Ascension to make the decision. The 11-song record is a presentation that will appeal widely among the metal masses. That is proven equally through the album’s musical and lyrical content. ‘Carpe Diem,’ which comes early in the album’s run does well to support the noted statements. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Shoot For The Sun’ also serves to show what makes Ascension such a strong debut from Paladin. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Genesis,’ which closes out the album, is one more way in which the record proves its appeal to so many in the metal masses. When it is considered along with the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes Ascension easy proof of why audiences should vote for Paladin in the “iVoted Festival.”
Paladin’s 2019 debut album Ascension is a powerful debut for the band, an convincing proof of why this up-and-coming metal outfit deserves to take part in this year’s livestream “iVoted Festival.” The album’s musical and lyrical content go a long way to support the noted statements. ‘Carpe Diem,’ which comes early in the album’s 49-minute run, is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement. The song’s musical arrangement is a full-on vintage thrash style composition. Its solid time keeping, equally powerful mix of death metal screams and power metal clean vocals pairs with the equally powerful guitar riffs to make the song in whole one of the album’s most notable works. The death metal screams and guitar riffs lend themselves to comparisons to works from the likes of Arch Enemy while the clean vocals lend themselves to comparisons to works from Judas Priest. The balance in those two sides makes for so much entertainment and engagement. It ensures its appeal to a wide range of audiences. When the song’s powerful musical arrangement is considered with the song’s lyrical content, which is powerful in its own right, the song in whole develops even more interest.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Carpe Diem’ comes across as in fact encouraging audiences to indeed seize the day. It opens with the lead verse stating, “Uncertain feelings coming through/The life you thought you always knew/Now seems so lost and far away/Time passing cannot be undone/Future and past become as one/No looking back, no backing down/This time around, this time around.” The chorus adds to the positive sense in the song’s lyrical content, stating, “One desire, soaring higher, oh/Now it’s time for you to take the reins/Fall harder, reaching farther/You’ve so much left to gain/The prize is worth the pain.” The song’s second verse solidifies the noted message of positivity, stating, “Lost in an existential haze/Trapped in oneself, an endless maze/Anxiety imprisoning my soul/Seeking the path I know exists/In search of truth, I must persist/A voice calls out from deep within/To take control is to begin.” All things considered here, these lyrics are certain to connect with listeners. When they are paired with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement, the whole of the song proves in its own way why Ascension is such a strong start for the band. It is just one of the songs that serves to make the album a success. ‘Shoot For The Sun’ is another way in which the album proves its strength.
‘Shoot For The Sun’ presents a musical arrangement that is best described as presenting a stylistic approach and sound that is one part prog metal and one part classic rock. It conjures thoughts of Liquid Tension Experiment on one hand, and of vintage Metallica and Motorhead on the other. That juxtaposition and joining of sounds and styles makes for so much enjoyment an engagement in this full-on fist-pumper. Right down to the solos, the song offers metal fans across the board something to enjoy. When the power and energy exuded in the song’s musical arrangement is paired with its positive lyrical theme, the whole of the song becomes that much more enjoyable.
As is the case with ‘Carpe Diem,’ ‘Shoot For The Sun’ offers audiences another positive message of self-determination and confidence. That is inferred in the song’s lead verse, which states, “You wanna know what it means to see/Just look around and let yourself be free/Set the world in your sights, we’ll prove it tonight/You’ve got a vision burning in your head/White hot, one shot, the prayer’s been said/Pull the trigger now, we’ll make it somehow.” The song’s chorus adds to the seeming statement as it states, “There’s just no more I can take/It’s all building up, I refuse to break/There’s just no more I can bear/When everything’s all said and done/Shoot for the sun.” That positive encouragement carries on through the song’s second verse, solidifying the message as it states, “You wanna know what it’s like to fly/Just spread your wings and you’ll touch the sky/No reason to wait, no time left to waste/You think you know how it all plays out/No one can save you from your own doubt/Feel the light that starts to shine/As it clears the heavy thoughts that cloud your mind/That cloud your mind, yeah, yeah, oh.” Again, this comes across as a very positive message that any listener will welcome. When it is considered with the composition’s equally enjoyable musical arrangement, the result is yet another work that will appeal to plenty of audiences. Together with the whole of ‘Carpe Diem,’ the two songs collectively show even more why the album in whole is a success, too. They are just a portion of what makes the album well worth hearing, too. ‘Genesis’ is one more example of why audiences will enjoy Ascension.
‘Genesis’ presents a musical arrangement that is another full-on wall of sound metal presentation. The dual guitar attack and guttural vocals pair with the seamless time keeping and bass work to make for its own share of engagement and entertainment. The clean vocals are a near musical mirror image of those of Judas Priest front man Rob Halford. The contrast of that sound to the screams joins with the full-on metal arrangement to make the song in whole even more appealing for audiences. When it is considered along with the song’s unique lyrical content, the song becomes even more intriguing.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Genesis’ seems to come across as a sort of fantasy story. It comes across as telling the story of a person’s story of growth and development. It is sort of an existential type of story, which opens with the song’s subject stating, “The silent scream of the conscience of man/As we are brought to sentience/Given dominion over the sea and land/To rule as we see fit.” That seeming story of development continues in the song’s chorus, which states, “The perfect form, born from the perfect image/We are the chosen/Yet as we prosper and we create/We yearn to know.” The subject continues his discussion by noting where society has been and where it is going. He states, “Thousands of years of progress/In search of a higher purpose/Unanswered questions to forces unknown/Our pleas are met with silence/And so we wander, blind to the way/Alone, abandoned and betrayed/Our stricken minds now led astray/Astray.” Things continue from here, with the subject even pleading to the “Almighty one/Bringer of the winds and rain” for clarity on things. That higher power responds, telling the song’s subject that “Even as your knowledge grows, your minds will never know/What lies beyond this world before it’s your time.” Simply put, the song’s subject is every one of us. We have all reached that point in which we ask what is the purpose in life and where are we going. The reality is that we will never really know and that we are better off just living life and living it to the best that we can. The whole of the story makes for a powerful addition to Ascension and yet another way in which the album is proven a success. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the result is an album that proves without question, to be a powerful debut from Paladin. To that end, the album is its own proof of why Paladin deserves to take part in this year’s “iVoted Festival.”
Paladin’s debut album Ascension is a powerful first outing for the band. The 11-song album is a presentation that will appeal widely to the metal masses. That is proven equally through the album’s musical and lyrical content as noted here. Its musical arrangements combine the best elements of prog metal, thrash, and even power metal for a whole that will bring the noted fans together. The album’s lyrical content ranges from easily accessible to much deeper, as noted here. All things considered, the album in whole proves that given the right support, Paladin could be one of the next big names in the metal community. That support starts with voting for the band in the upcoming “iVoted Festival.” More information on Ascension is available along with all of Paladin’s latest news at:
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