The Paradox Of Metanoia
31st July – Depraved Records
01. Welcome To Our Asylum
02. The Thorn
04. United Monarchy
06. Son Of The Priest
07. I Am Nothing
09. Worshiping The Ways Of The Wise
10. Kill Her
Something wicked this way comes.
After a relatively lengthy gestation period, following 2012′s debut and a 2013 crowdfunding campaign to make The Paradox Of Metanoia possible, the cracks are now appearing in the chrysalis, and the new album from ‘jungle death metal’ outfit Meta-Stasis is ready to emerge. But rather than a fragile, delicate butterfly, it is a snarling, rampaging, nightmarish carnivore.
Straight out of the traps, The Paradox Of Metanoia lunges for the listener’s throat, clamps down on the jugular and refuses to let go to the bitter end, some twelve tracks and sixty two minutes later. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Meta-Stasis have clearly developed their proposition since their debut. Their heady (Molotov) cocktail of a sound throws Slipknot‘s eponymous debut, Strapping Young Lad‘s Alien, and Sepultura‘s Arise into a blender, and runs the result through a thoroughly modern metal filter. Throughout, the tempo remains high, while furious riffing and brutal death growls compete with jagged shards of dark electronica – but Meta-Stasis still find space for the occasional melodic and anthemic chorus amongst the maelstrom.
It is the electronic elements to the sound that really help to separate Meta-Stasis from the pack. Largely eschewing the floaty atmospherics and sub-drops that have become more common than not in certain circles, the influence of dubstep and nineties drum and bass is clearly evident. Manic breakbeats and scratching pile on top of shredding guitars, and slower moments are given big, filthy bass wubs that – with the right sound system – will make your ribcage rattle.
But let’s be very clear: The Paradox Of Metanoia is first and foremost a metal album, and one that is infused with a considerable amount of venom. Those electronics are the icing on a particularly fearsome cake.
Lead singles “Fathomless” and “Disintegrate” showcase the band’s knack for penning tracks with considerable fury, and the video for the latter also displays the same sense of macabre theatre that Meta-Stasis also bring to the stage, making them close to a complete package.
However, there are just a couple of areas where Meta-Stasis fall just a little short of their promise. Throughout the album, the kick drums sit just a little too prominently in the mix, sometimes drowning out the nuances of the riffs. Tracks like “The Thorn” do seem to rage around in circles, and their potency is slightly hampered by the lack of a real sense of progression or direction. And, every once in a while, there’s simply too much happening at once to make sense of it all.
But with those minor quibbles aside, The Paradox Of Metanoia is an exhilarating and cathartic listen. “Kill Her” is clearly an outpouring of an serious amount of pent up anger that was fighting to get out, and possesses both a hugely satisfying hyper-downtuned riff and a surprisingly epic coda.
The Paradox Of Metanoia, along with their pummeling live performances, set up Meta-Stasis as a force to be reckoned with. The album could well find favour equally with open-minded death metal aficionados and die-hard Slipknot fans disappointed that the Iowans have had their claws dulled with age. It’s entirely probable that the band can iron out some easily manageable minor flaws, and produce something utterly devastating – hopefully in the not too distant future.
In the meantime, The Paradox Of Metanoia is an extreme metal album that shows Meta-Stasis not afraid to broaden the horizons of a sometimes restrictive genre and, in the process, are creating a sinister universe of their own that is simultaneously compelling and terrifying.