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Pariahlord – Vultures

by Gary Hernandez at 13 November 2022, 5:54 PM

Don’t let the short haircuts and relatively clean looks of PARIAHLORD fool you, this Stoner Metal trio rocks. Hailing from Hagen, Germany, PARIAHLORD formed in 2019. In March 2020 during the onset of the plague, they released their debut EP, “Embrace the Misery” (perhaps a portent for what was about to go down) and some 30 months later, on September 2, 2022, they released their first full-length, “Vultures,” through Boersma-Records.

Vultures” features eight tracks and taps out at 46:04. The band heralds a three-pronged tag line: “Three Dudes. Heavy Riffs. Melodic Tones.” All fairly factual, though I think “melodic” is meant in a general Stoner sense and not something as specific as Swiss Melodic Death Metal. A few notable things about PARIAHLORD are Jan Kurtze’s killer bass. Very sloppy as in you can feel the strings just rattle in that low-down, guttural way. So nice.  And there’s Carsten Schmitt’s clean, harmonic vocals. They are the kind of vocals that are so clean and well enunciated that you don’t need a lyrics sheet to follow along. I want to call them monotone, though there are clearly inflections and variations in pitch and tone. Perhaps it is the effect of layering. I should also mention the production values across the entire album are very strong—kudos to producer Martin Buchwalter and Gernhart Studios in Troisdorf. Very impressive especially for a first LP.

As expected from a Stoner band, the riffs are more hooky than heavy though there is a definite Doom sensibility also at play. Best tracks are “Dead Man’s Hand,” a weird western tale with grooves aplenty. This theme is echoed in the cover, btw, that features a three-headed vulture strafing a desert plateau. “Valley of the Roses” stands out for its oscillating movements from a TOOL-esque opening which eventually swells into a Thrashy onslaught only to resolve back to its original form and then back and forth again until the close of this seven-minute track. I also liked “Halcyon Part 1.” Even though it is a short instrumental, I enjoyed its simplicity of bass, its Psych-infused guitar, and what sounds like a Hammond floating there in the background. Very atmospheric and very groovy.

PARIAHLORD is at the nexus of heavy and groovy. A good spot to be, but I’ll be interested to see which side of the spectrum they veer to as they continue to evolve. Altogether, “Vultures” is a solid debut full-length for these lads. After one EP and one LP, I think it will be their sophomore full-length that will be the deciding factor. In the meanwhile, “Vultures” is an excellent offering and well deserving of a listen and a purchase.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1.  Vultures
2.  Dead Man's Hand
3.  Super Mega Ultra Van
4.  This Is the Voice Of…
5.  Vrillon
6.  Valley of the Roses
7.  Halcyon Pt. I
8.  Halcyon Pt. II
Jan Kurtze – Bass
Phil Röttgers – Drums
Carsten Schmitt – Vocals, guitars
Record Label: Boersma-Records


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Edited 28 March 2023

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