Parallels - Take This To Heart EP (2012)

Parallels is an up and coming band from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. They define themselves as "Djent inspired Melodic Hardcore", and cite their similarities with Legend and Volumes, which sounds about perfect to me. Not just because I love Legend and Volumes, but because they infuse these two bands very well.

Instrumentally, you can definitely hear the similarities to the aforementioned bands. Whether it's the heaviness of the opening two tracks, "Family Ties" and "Misguided", or the melodic riffs in "Directions", you're almost forced to make the comparison. Don Burbage and Adam Conran on guitar, and Abe Smith on bass, chug, twang, and strum away, creating a heavy, yet melodic atmosphere, while Richard Tynan on drums supports the band with his tight drum work. Although this comparison to the bands is certainly not a bad thing, Parallels is also met with Legend's (and some would say Volumes') flaw.

Parallels is a band dominated by "heavier" instrumentation. They have great moments with their djenty riffs on "Lifelines", and have surprisingly good cleans on "Directions" and "Tensions", as well as the aforementioned melodies, but I feel they're under-utilized. Their more prolific guitar work takes place on "Directions" and the closing track, "The Deceiver", which I feel would add much more to the EP if they replaced a few breakdowns with some more melodic sections. In future releases, more variety will absolutely benefit them.

As for the vocals on this album, they weren't bad in the least bit. Vocalist, Jon Thomas, has a deep low scream, but to me, it seems it's a bit forced, and other than the occasional atmospheric mid that he uses, there isn't too much variety. I will say though, if he does the cleans on this album as well as the screams, then I understand. As for the screams themselves, I know personally that trying to diversify your vocal approach is no easy task, but it's necessary to make a good push in your local music scene, so I hope to see some more range on future material.

Production is also much better than I expected from a band who hasn't even broken the 1,000 like barrier on Facebook yet, and it benefits their sound very well. It's not mind blowing, but it definitely gets the job done, and every instrument sounds fantastic.

All in all, this is a pretty good start for these guys. Tight production and a good starting sound, with years to go to hone it and make it deadly. North Carolina, support your local music and go check these guys out at their shows, and congratulate them on a good start to their career.

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By PaulOverVanity ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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