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Parish - God's Right Hand Award winner

Parish
God's Right Hand
by Mike McMahan at 18 June 2021, 7:20 PM

What I hear in front of me is quite possibly the most complex and thoroughly interesting four song EP in the history of four song EP’s. PARISH, from the UK, have crafted a concept record in “God’s Right Hand”, short though it may be, based around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. Each individual song, in order, represents one of the Horsemen. The EP is sparkling good, both musically and lyrically, intelligently written and, with seeming influence from the likes of BLACK SABBATH and BUDGIE, as Metal as it comes. The musicianship is golden, with James’ guitar work and vocals being at the forefront, and Joe and Tom laying down a rhythm section that is solid and eerie in its plodding delivery. As difficult as it was for me to imagine a release of this sort when I first started this review process, it is now very much impossible for me to ignore its effectiveness.

Starting off the release, and representing Pestilence, is the song “Apothecary”. Checking in at just over three and a half minutes in length, it tells the tale of a man doing all he can for his love, who lies at death’s door. Heavy material, indeed, and the song is punctuated with guitar riffs that immediately reminded me of Tony Iommi from some of the early BLACK SABBATH releases. It is, however, far from being a direct rip-off of that material. The vocal work feels heartfelt and convincing, and James’ delivery of the material is spot-on. Equally impressive is the thunderous lower end, which again draws comparison, however inadvertently, to early Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.

Representing War is “In The Shadow Of The Hill”. Again, the song is incredibly intelligently written and performed, with an angular guitar line that is absolutely gorgeous. This track slows the pace a bit, allowing the listener ample understanding of the subject matter at hand. All being said, this is probably my favorite cut on the record; really focusing on the incredible musical talent these gentlemen possess, and featuring a guitar solo that turned my head with its opening notes.

“The Plea” represents Famine, and again opens with some Iommi-esque riff work out of a nicely controlled feedback. I hear some BUDGIE influence on the closing track, “By A Bandit’s Knife”, representing Death and a look into the afterlife. The song is the shortest on this release, coming in at a mere two and a half minutes; but it is easily as effective as the rest, and quite beautiful in its delivery.

I have now listened to this release many times and will be returning to it often. Along with a few others of note, it will be high on my end of year Top Ten list, I am certain. Simply an amazing work.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Apothecary
2. In The Shadow Of The Hill
3. The Plea
4. By A Bandit’s Knife
Lineup:
James – Vocals and Guitar
Joe – Drums
Tom – Bass
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions
     


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Edited 28 July 2021
 

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