Procreate // Annihilate is the sophomore EP from metal trio, I Am Pariah. Originating from Stoke-on-Trent, Bassist Dave Snell describes their new release thusly: “The EP title is relevant to what’s going on around us. Nowadays it seems some people are brought up with no respect for anyone or anything, and the only thing they do is cause misery to the ones that surround them. It also symbolises the way in which young adults are conscripted to war for unnecessary gains, a life of violence with no reprieve.”

I Am Pariah combine rock, metal and punk genre influences with dystopian themes. Their tracks are energetic with rebellious tones drawing on punk, whilst rock riffs and heavier chord progressions provide developed instrumental sections. Including clips of spoken word and other synth effects throughout the EP keeps all of the tracks cohesive to the overriding theme. Heavy In Japan opens the EP with aggressive staccato rhythms, minor chords and aggressive vocals that establish an eerie atmosphere. This creates a dramatic effect which is then heavily contrasted by the chorus. Soaring vocals, intricate guitar melodies and an overall more positive sound from the instrumentation introduce a sense of optimism amongst the dark ideas explored in the verses. Heavy metal influences are prevalent in the guitar rhythms of the verse and the tone of the instruments, whereas the verse suggests influences of pop-rock genres. The contrast is executed well to create a track that is cohesive.

A Place To Belong opens with calm, synths, a simple guitar melody and calm vocals form a significant difference from the previous track. The burst into energetic guitars, and a heavier sound is haunted by an eerie synth beneath. Benjamin Antony James’ soaring vocals in the chorus creates an uplifting effect. The staccato strings included in the bridge combined with the heavy guitars and soaring synth lines, creates a dark, eerie atmosphere. This is a fairly drastic change from the overall sound of the track, but it works effectively to reintroduce the darker ideas present in the Heavy In Japan. Cult Society draws on the punk genre with Benjamin’s vocals short, snappy vocal lines with a rebellious sound. The presence of harsh vocals further into the track takes the darker elements further and enhances the aggressive, rebellious ideas. Fast, energetic rhythms in the instrumentation give the overall track a feeling of movement. Guitar riffs and motifs throughout the track take add greater interest in the instrumentation, deviating from the more simplistic instrumentation associated with tracks of the punk genre.

Big Shot, similarly to the previous track, opens with fast, energetic guitar chord changes. An eerie synth is introduced over the top and combined with low-pitched, layered vocals – this style is reminiscent of eerie sound portrayed by Swedish visual metal band, BatAAr. This dark, dystopian sound is contrasted in the chorus, similarly to other tracks on this EP, with soaring vocals and a more uplifting tone. This works very effectively as the contrast enhances both the dark and light nature of their tracks. It would be interesting to see I Am Pariah explore other instrumental and structural techniques in their songwriting.

I Am Pariah have produced a solid EP that explores a wide range of textures and tones relevant to their overall theme. The EP is cohesive, but each track does have its own sound. Drawing on influences from a variety of genres can be difficult to execute well, but everything used has been done so sparingly and complementary to I Am Pariah’s unique sound

8/10

For fans of: Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, Of Mice & Men
Words by Holly Royle

‘Procreate // Annihilate’ by I Am Pariah is released on 30th November.

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