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Paranorm - The Edge Of Existence Award winner

The Edge Of Existence
by Matt Coe at 09 April 2014, 5:35 PM

Rarely do you hear a band in 2014 willing to push the envelope in thrash metal through progressive pastures. A lot of times those acts fall through the cracks, only to gain appreciation after their demise. Uppsala, Sweden’s PARANORM is a four-piece who wish to take a bevy of North American and European influences, add in a lot of the energy and unbridled aggression that made NWOBHM so special and come up with an entertaining concoction on their second EP “The Edge of Existence”.

Even though there are only 4 songs on display, you will get 25 minutes of music – and I think there’s plenty to digest as PARANORM prefer to play a riffy brand of progressive thrash, entertaining through gallop passages and tempo turns that average musicians dream of making seamless. HEATHEN and CORONER comparisons came up early and often, along with PARADOX, FORBIDDEN, and the neo-classical lead work of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN- but I believe the quartet are gravitating to their own style as they put in flashes of blast beats and unique dual workouts to establish their sound.

As a vocalist, guitarist Markus Hiltunen has a raspy, rumbling nature to his delivery, a touch on the death side but comparable to a clearer Ron Royce of CORONER. Musically the band lead from a strong harmonic standpoint, emphasizing through the guitar play of Markus and Fredrik Kjellgren a powerful tandem force. Check out all the exotic twists and turns for the energetic “Sunstorm” and you’ll understand how the latter day HEATHEN comparisons to come mind- as well as a touch of ICED EARTH just for the tightness and jackhammer-like precision/ execution.

Favorites? The shorter, heads down Thrash for “Second Assault” provides neck snapping parts and closer “Desolate Worlds” showcases their vocal to instrumental knack for pushing the Progressive Thrash envelope, the rhythm section having to stay on their toes for juggling speed and groove within nano-seconds. Let’s hope the next product from these Swedes is a full length album- they deserve wider appreciation as they excel at their chosen genre and I miss this kind of thinking’s man Thrash.

4 Star Rating

1. Into the Unknown
2. Second Assault
3. Sunstorm
4. Desolate Worlds
Markus Hiltunen – Vocals, Guitars
Fredrik Kjellgren – Guitars
Marcus Blom – Bass
Karl Askebro – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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