I always seem to find my way back to Sweden…
Parnassus existed for a brief period in the mid 90′s, which if you’ve been paying attention to my blog, know that’s right in the middle of the golden era for Swedish extreme metal. The one man band played a highly symphonic style of black metal. When I say “highly” symphonic I mean to distinguish it from the bands that typically come to mind when symphonic black metal is brought up, IE Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, etc. Where those bands rely on the symphonic elements to add theatrics to to the music, Parnassus seems to want to overwhelm you with them. The symphonic sounds are laid over the top of everything else, louder than everything else and I can’t recall a moment on the album where there aren’t any present. It’s a unique approach and reminds me a little of Obtained Enslavement at their best, albeit with even more focus on the symphonic part. I say “symphony” but what it really is is digital audio effects made to sound like a symphony, not uncommon in black metal, but just to clarify.
However, under the symphonic elements are some killer fucking black metal, played with all the furious melody you’ve come to expect from the Swedes at this point in time. It’s tremendously infectious.
Not many black metal bands use the symphonic sounds in this nature which is a shame because it’s an interesting approach to the music when the focus is shifted like that. It makes, at least for Parnassus, for a fucking killer and memorable album.