Paragon Impure – “Sade” (Ván Records)
Born in 2004. Buried alive in 2009. Resurrected in 2018. Such is the foreboding tale of Belgium’s Paragon Impure, formed from the ashes of Thy Wrath to become the slavering beast that issued “To Gaius (For the Delivery of Agrippina)” in 2005, a grim and fierce album that spread through the black metal underground like bubonic plague despite its DIY production (try a barn and a bedroom). It’s purported successor, “The Fall Of Man”, however was abandoned mid recording around 2008…..Now, some 8 years after and unable to get the unfinished songs out’ve his mind, Noctiz (guitars, bass and vocals) teams up with drummer Svein (Lugubrum) to breath new life into the re-recordings. But the world has changed. And so has Noctiz. Uncontent to follow the black metal herd, Noctiz transforms the work into something more befitting his true vision of evil: a homage to the legacy of the Marquis de Sade! Enlisting the support of producer PJ Turlinckx and Jéremie Bézier (Emptiness, ex Enthroned), “Sade” is indeed a logical successor to the debut, albeit less raw and certainly more polished sound wise. Although rooted in nordic black metal and still featuring plenty of blast beating, the sound has evolved to also include plenty of prominent bass runs, making for a very heavy sound while Noctiz’s bestial growls and drawls are actually clear and understandable! Equally, the guitars are less raw and now include plenty of dark melodies and evil hooks to make the material not just interesting but memorable. Less reliant on physical sound shock and now more on the sheer psychological effect of the material, lyrically the songs are still a fist in the face of religious doctrine and authority, but not in the satanic sense following Noctiz’s own spiritual reorientation, but rather the sheer blasphemy of what he sings about! So with superior compositions that are longer and more complex, the 6 chapters ranging from ‘Juliette, Queen Of Vice’ to ‘Repentance Of A Dying Libertine’ to the truly decadent ‘Philosophy In The Bedroom’ soak into your soul with all the sexual perversity and terror as his infamous inspiration would’ve intended, indeed proving a worthy historical successor to the notorious Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus – better known as the Roman emperor Caligula!!!