Paladin – 2017 Demo
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Finally, from Atlanta, GA comes a metal band that doesn’t have me rolling my eyes or send me running for the fucking door. Ok, that’s not totally fair as there are a handful of local metal bands that I dig in Atlanta but in a town overrun by screaming, growling, death metal it’s so fucking refreshing to hear a band like Paladin. Paladin plays a very old school sounding kind of thrash infused heavy metal that crosses into the realm of death metal by just a hair. This kind of sound makes it remarkably interesting for someone like me who hates death metal because it never takes it all the way across the border. It’s like they dip into it just enough to whet your pallet and give you a taste.
I know this doesn’t make much sense but if you listen to Paladin’s debut two song EP’s first song “Bury the Light” it will. Musically, Paladin seems to channel a 3 Inches of Blood kind of sound being that it’s a somewhat modern sound channeling the thrash gods of old. Vocally, lead singer/guitarist Taylor Washington reminds me of Jeff Walker of Carcass when delivering the harsh vocals but then all of the sudden with switch right into a clean vocal styling that takes things over the top.
In my opinion, the real magic happens on “Call of the Night”. This is where I feel like Paladin has done a remarkable job and really showing what they are capable off. Again, the harsh vocals don’t bug me the least bit because Washington does a great job of realizing that you can use this style of singing to create a dynamic change as opposed to saturating a song with it. Once Washington’s clean vocals kick in, all bets are off and he takes this shit completely over the top which literally made me slam my fist on my desk and exclaim, “Fuck yes!” I also found “Call of the Night” to be best described as a thrash band with young Bruce Dickinson like vocals singing Paul DiAnno lyrics. Trust me, this is a good thing.
Paladin completely knocked it out of the fucking park and melted my goddamn face clean off with two songs. It’s always exciting and amazing for me to hear a band do more with two songs than most bands can do with 10. If these two songs are any indication of what Paladin has in store for us, you can bet your sweet ass that this band will be a rising force to be reckoned with here in Atlanta and beyond. Atlanta bands and upcoming metal bands in general best take note. This is how you fucking do it.