With the “You Can’t Win” EP released last year, New Jersey thrash band Paralysis made quite an impact. The band managed to catch a lot of attention due to the quality of guests they attracted on that release (Gerre, Josh Christian, Bobby Gustafson). Just over a year later, they have another release, this time showing the band trying to stand solely on their own merits. “Life Sentence” does exactly that, as it is a succinct 30-minute effort where the band unleashes many of their best songs.
Though there were some stellar lead guitarists on the last EP, this album really isn’t in need of guest shredding because Paralysis features more than enough impressive fretwork on their own. One of the best examples is the sweeping intro to the solo on “Your Will”, which leads to a solo that is just a little more technical-sounding than your average thrash band. The guitars in general have a lot more bite to them on this release than on “You Can’t Win”, making even some of the tamer riffs sound vicious.
Paralysis is at their best when following a simplistic thrash formula. In general, their better moments are fast, utilize gang vocals (“Life Sentence” and “All Your Lies” having the best examples), and feature catchy, simplistic choruses. If there is one easy criticism of “Life Sentence”, it’s that there are far too many mid-paced moments on the record. They’re still absolutely crushing and no doubt mosh-inducing, but when contrasted with the more aggressive moments, it is clear which sound is superior.
Aside from this, there isn’t too much to criticize on “Life Sentence”. Paralysis is adept at writing solid thrash tunes, which may not reinvent the wheel, but they’ll certainly get the pit going. Their vocalist straddles the line between death metal and thrash metal, with a slight emphasis on the former. This again makes Paralysis fairly consistent with much of the thrash scene today. As a result, “Life Sentence” is a safe record, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. If you’re a fan of thrash metal, it’s worth hearing as there are a couple of truly great tunes, but this is a very different beast from some of the more forward-thinking thrash that seems to be universally praised.
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"All Your Lies"
4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott