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Parallax Mediums & Messages

Parallax - Mediums & Messages
01. Momentum
02. Nameless
03. Temple Shadows
04. Contemplating The Contemplated
05. Criticize Without Constructing
06. Reiteration
07. Surgery Without Sutures
08. The Romance
09. Dent
2006 Counterintelligence Recordings

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 6/27/2006

Last August Blake Donner, the lead singer of Parallax, died unexpectedly in a tragic accident. Although the band's first full-length, Mediums & Messages, wouldn't come out for roughly eight months, Donner had already finished the vocals for the album as well as a number of insightful song lyric explanations. When the album was finally released, it was done so in Donner's memory and is described as an accurate representation of some of his last words.

While I wish the band the best in dealing with those unfortunate circumstances, I will admit that I had no previous knowledge of the band and thus no type of expectations whatsoever. As I soon learned, Mediums & Messages is an exceptional album, completely blowing away the majority of records in the stagnant metalcore scene.

Parallax's brand of metalcore draws similarities to Shai Hulud and 7 Angels 7 Plagues or early Misery Signals. The songs are not plagued by repetitive and boring song structures, and the lyrical content is extremely intelligent. There is no whining about ex-girlfriends or cheesy dark lyrics to be found at any point on this disc, only interesting commentary about the current structures, roles and conventions of society. The album also features a spoken word track done by Greg Bennick (of Trial) that fits perfectly with the overall theme of the disc. To be honest, the first time I heard the beginning of the track, I immediately thought, "Oh no, this is going to ruin the album." But my fears were silenced by the quality delivery and content of the vocals and I have since come to thoroughly enjoy it.

The lyrical content of the album is supported by a great foundation of fast, technical metalcore. The guitar work is interesting and the song structure represents a great middle ground between cookie cutter verse-chorus-verse-chorus metalcore and the chaotic mess that often occurs when tech bands write their "songs." Odd time signatures are used appropriately and I even enjoy the well-placed breakdowns. To top it all off, I absolutely love the production on this disc. I am so sick and tired of the over-polished production that can turn any band into the next Unearth or As I lay Dying. Mediums & Messages has an exceptionally raw feel, and hell, you can actually hear the bass (a huge plus in my book). The artwork isn't really all that great, but that's hardly an issue for me.

Bottom Line: Parallax has produced an exceptional debut album that will be refreshing in an over-saturated metalcore genre. This record is intelligent and honest, and has worked its way into my regular rotation after a couple of spins. I'll be watching Parallax in the future.

Jesper_   posted 9/8/2006 2:16:17 AM
Best utah band... I know.. I live in this bitch.. screw The Used and screw Broke, and screw Clifton... Hails to Gaza, I AM THE OCEAN, and PARALLAX!
ghetto_paul_   posted 7/6/2006 1:38:35 PM
weird seeing all these positive comments. although I agree... good album, good band, too bad about the singer, etc.
TheReapersSon_   posted 7/5/2006 7:56:23 AM
It's a shame that nobody will read that because that's very interesting
counterintelligence_   posted 7/4/2006 9:02:24 AM
OOPS! Here's that link to the buZ blurr interview by Blake Donner:

counterintelligence_   posted 7/4/2006 8:56:32 AM

I keep seeing kids post about the PARALLAX cover and booklet art, so I wanted to shed a little light on why we chose to use it. Blake Donner, Parallax's vocalist (RIP RIOT) used to do a Krishna/boxcar graffiti zine called The Fifth Goal. Through his ties to boxcar graff, he came across a legend in the railroad/hobo/boxcar art scene named Colossus of Roads (aka buZ blurr). He eventually interviewed buZ for his zine (see LINK), and when the band needed an artist for the CD, he told buZ that it w

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