PALADIN - Ascension
Release date May 17/19 (Prosthetic)
Having grown up on thrash and power metal, the thought of pairing the two make me excited, to say the least. Enter Atlanta newcomers Paladin, with their debut album Ascension. Not only do they meld the genres together perfectly, they have their own unique style that is apparent immediately.
Taylor Washington takes up the pen, the mic, and lead guitar on this release and he cuts through it like a knife to butter. He is Alexi Laiho with European soaring vocals or Paul Gilbert riding on top of a post-apocalypse dragon. Paladin is thrash with a samurai sword and I’m completely in love with it.
Ascension opens with Awakening, an almost Keeper of the Seven Keys sounding track that sets the pace for a furious 49 minutes of speedy six-string brilliance. After starting with clean vocals they start dipping in and out of a harsh style that they fit perfectly into their unique power thrash sound. Songs like 'Shoot for the Sun' not only show off the crazy technical skill the group possess, but also the catchy songwriting that many guitar virtuosos lack. Then there are songs like 'Genesis' that switch things up and go for a more evil sounding power metal, akin to bands like Exmortus or 3 Inches of Blood. With its blistering speed and pedal to the polyester plastic drums they have guaranteed a spot on my ‘get shit done’ playlist for a very long time.
Not that they sound that similar, but they really make me think about Children of Bodom. It’s hard to place what genre Bodom is because they don’t seem to give a shit, they just play kick ass heavy metal how they want. That’s what Paladin and Ascension is, kick ass heavy metal.