Review by Trevor Proctor.
Canada’s Paroxsihzem formed back in 2007 and their first music came as demos in 2009 and 2010 - Aesthetic Torture was released in 2009 and their self-titled demo was released in 2010. However, it was their debut album released in 2012 which was also self-titled, that first drew my attention to the band. Dark Descent Records released it on CD with a subsequent vinyl release from Hellthrasher Productions a year later.
Paroxsihzem is a fantastic debut album, most definitely recommended, and so good I ended up buying it on multiple formats. “Warpit of Coiling Atrocities,” a split with Adversarial followed at the end of 2014, another exceptional release and another that’s well worth some of your hard earned cash. Paroxsihzem have again joined forces with Hellthrasher Productions to bring us their latest offering in the form of a new MLP, Abyss of Excruciating Vexes, which has just been released on digital and on a limited run of 250 vinyl copies but based on the high standard of their music I’d be surprised if it’s long before we see a vinyl repress or CD version.
Paroxsihzem are one of the finest purveyors of suffocating and oppressive black/death metal and this MLP sees them continue that trend. Abyss of Excruciating Vexes was recorded and mixed by the band in August 2015 and was mastered by Damian Herring, who’s also a guitarist/vocalist with American band Horrendous. The artwork and layout for the MLP was designed by Krag, Paroxsihzem’s vocalist. Paroxsihzem have stated the themes central to this MLP focus on “Relentless torture, maniacal hatred, drug induced lunacy and madness” each of these four topics is covered by a track with the fifth being a cover of “Dead Cunt Maniac” by Arkhon Infaustus. The press release stated this is the “fastest, most violent and vicious material they have ever done” and opener “Dillanties Torture” certainly starts the MLP in the most destructive of fashions. Paroxsihzem’s music is certainly aggressive and oppressive in equal measures and seethes with hatred from the off. Whilst the tempo throughout is predominantly frenetic Paroxsihzem occasionally flit between slower and faster tempos to accentuate the destruction, and they do so with the greatest of ease and without ever losing memento or your attention. Paroxsihzem manages to achieve levels of oppression and suffocation with their music that’s unmatched by many bands of this ilk. The production levels during the MLP are very suited to the music and contribute to the atmosphere the band wishes to achieve but without ever sounding too dank or muffled. The Arkhon Infaustus track, Dead Cunt Maniac, (D.C.M) is an interesting addition to the MLP. D.C.M. stays fairly loyal to the original, even including the movie quote from 1980 movie "Maniac," although Paroxsihzem somehow manage to up the hostility and intensity levels even further.
There’s a lot more to Paroxsihzem that just noise though and there’s a high level of musicianship to be heard in both this MLP and their other releases, musicianship that’s succinctly illustrated by some exceptional lead guitar work and some seriously good drumming. With Death Metal still enjoying its most productive period ever it’s all too easy for bands to slip under the radar but Paroxsihzem are a band that deserve more of a following than they currently enjoy. If you’re a fan of intense, smothering and down-right intimidating death metal don’t let them slip you by as their music is way too good…
The band has stated this MLP serves as a bridge to their next album, definitely one to wait for but, in the meantime, enjoy the horrific beauty of Abyss of Excruciating Vexes.
A very strong release 8.5/10.
01 - Dillanties Torture
02 - Bellicose Psychosis
03 - BZ Experiment
04 – Isolation
05 – D.C.M. - Dead Cunt Maniac (Arkhon Infaustus cover)
Abyss of Excruciating Vexes, and other Paroxsihzem releases are currently available form Hellthrasher Productions.