Review: Pariiah, Swallowed by Fog (Trip Machine Laboratories, 2020)

Formed in New Jersey sometime last year, crusty metal quartet Pariiah is made up of musicians who have been involved with the likes of Books Lie, Change Order, Das Oath, Devoid of Faith, Kill Your Idols, Milhouse, Monster X, Mothman, and quite a few more. If you're so inclined, look up the following names on Discogs for a mind-blowing wellspring of music dating all the way back to the early-'90s and beyond:

  • Paul Andress (guitar/vocals)
  • Nate Wilson (guitar/vocals)
  • Brian Meehan (bass)
  • Adam Paterson (drums)

Swallowed by Fog churns forth six songs/13 minutes of chugging Celtic Frost worship (at least musically, the vocals are a dual attack of gruff shouts) with a Discharge-esque songwriting efficiency fitting of the lineup's veteran status pertaining to hardcore/punk. It didn't hit me until the end of my first listen when the outro kicked in, but there's a hefty dose of Saint Vitus-tinged sludge happenin', too. I mean, fuck, that outro (beginning at 2:30) is dead on Vitus to an insane degree, so when diving back in for a second spin, I started to hear those influences more obviously in tracks like "Steady Flow of Blood," where—even more so than portions of the guitar work—it's in the way the pulsing basslines weave around the core and do their own thing. But, then you've also got all those quick trills that play a similar role throughout "Memories in Black." And the Celtic Frost driven to Obituary levels during the opening riff of "Message of Pain"? Yes, indeed, I'll take it!

The tracks are issued on a black cassette within a two-sided/two-panel J-card complete with old school xerox-styled graphics plus the lyrics—"Entrails of dawn, Collapsing the sun, Leave us to drown, In blood and horror..."—presented with an obviously higher level of design and print quality than it would've had in 1984. The tapes also include a download card, which I've used for my past hour of listening because I'm a gutless poser shackled to the illusions of convenience.

Anyway, yeah, this is good shit. The influences are obvious, but the approach is an homage, not a rip-off. If you want a physical copy, act soon, 'cause they're limited to 100 and last I heard there were maybe 10 left!

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