Parabelle
A Summit Borderline/A Drop Oceanic


4.0
excellent

Review

by greg84 EMERITUS
December 6th, 2009 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A powerful collection of songs that combine hard rock and alternative metal in a truly accessible manner.

"A Summit Borderline/A Drop Oceanic" is the debut double album of the Canadian band Parabelle led by former Evans Blue's vocalist Kevin Matisyn and guitarist/producer Tim Huskinson of Framing Hanley fame. Parabelle specialize in melodic hard rock and their first record already shows how versatile and multidimensional they can be working within this supposedly stale genre. Due to its large scope, "A Summit Borderline/A Drop Oceanic" is an epic rock album that incorporates many different styles into two coherent discs. Thus, this independently released material is considerably more musically and lyrically daring than the previous endeavours of both Matisyn and Huskinson.

The former disc entitled "A Summit Borderline" is heavier than the latter blending the band's trademark infectious melodic rock with evident hardcore influences being mostly hearable in such tracks as "First", "Whore" and "When the Last Words are Sighs". Owing to heavy trash riffage, the band sometimes sounds really powerful in a headbanging kind of mode. Matisyn appropriately contributes employing screams and growls. The attack is the most effective as it comes unexpectedly in the bridge of supremely catchy "The Conversation Ends" when the heavy new tone-sounding guitar is preceded and followed by psychotic screaming. Another obvious highlights of this disc include "Are You Alarmed"" and "He Started Off Well", perfectly executed and appropriately dark songs that combine serious lyrical themes with melodic genius of Matisyn and his anthemic choruses, so prominent on the whole album.

The latter disc "A Drop Oceanic" finds the the band in a more meditative, calmer mode. In order to maintain this mood, the wide range of ballads is used verging from piano-based "Blur", through acoustic "Made Of", to a capella "Eternity Behind 4 Hours". They are all equally effective with the exception of "Never Let You Go" that sounds too generic like several other songs on this disc. Moreover, the band finally shows its brighter, more optimistic side in genuinely uplifting anthems, "Stay Close" and especially "In My Soul". The second disc is also marked by the braver use of keyboards which can either make for ominous sound like in furious "Puppet On a String", or create mysterious atmosphere like in hypnotizing and dreamy "A Drop in the Ocean" being a standout track.

Parabelle manages to be much darker and emotionally plausible than their contemporaries largely due to a genuinely briliant performance of Kevin Matisyn. His outstanding lyrical and vocal skills are on full display throughout the whole endeavour to the point that it feels very much like his own many a time. He is never afraid of making his work very personal and he is never anything less than authentic. Another standout mamber is obviously Tim Huskinson who succeeds in creating a distinctive sound. It's a far cry from being groundbreaking, yet it emulates the identity of the band rather well.

Both admirably melodic and genuine, "A Summit Borderline/A Drop Oceanic" is a stellar collection of mostly great songs that combine hard rock and alternative metal in a truly accessible manner. For me, it is the most pleasantly surprising release of the year.



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user ratings (77)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
BlakeBeasty (5)
This is an amazing album. Matisyn and Parabelle have really showed out. It shows that Matisyn has co...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
December 6th 2009


6362 Comments


When this first came out I gave a view tracks a listen, but I wasn't too impressed. However, this review has persuaded me to give it another go. You have my vote.

greg84
Emeritus
December 6th 2009


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. The first disc is obviously a 4.5, the second one is more of a 4 for me. Still, it's really worth checking out.

Digging: Neneh Cherry - Broken Politics

VicariousIntent
December 6th 2009


1626 Comments


I know it sounds corny, but this album/band is criminally underrated. Great review.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 6th 2009


6362 Comments


This guy has a pretty good voice. Do you like the albums from when he was in Evans Blue?

greg84
Emeritus
December 6th 2009


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. He is an incredible singer imo. I liked Evans Blue when he was in this band. They were quite solid. Now, they aren't even listenable without him. Still, I prefer this release to anything by Evans Blue.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 6th 2009


6362 Comments


Yeah, the newest album from the band was pretty generic.

I like this a lot so far, though I feel the percussion is a bit bare in places.

greg84
Emeritus
December 6th 2009


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think the production isn't that bad. Of course, it's nothing spectacular, but I like this raw sound. I guess it's advisable to listen to it on a good set of speakers (like I do).

MaskAtTheMasquerade
December 7th 2009


2923 Comments


never heard of these guys, but that will change. Good review though dude

Ponton
Emeritus
December 13th 2009


6362 Comments


Still listening to this, and I can tell that it is definitely a grower. At first I wasn't a fan of the production, but it seems to add to the album's lasting appeal.

greg84
Emeritus
December 13th 2009


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. It does have a lasting appeal. I hadn't listened to it for awhile before writing the review and it still sounds pretty much amazing now. Don't know exactly why they are so unknown.

ThePalestMexican
January 5th 2010


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great band live, talked to the lead singer every time he came. I found the second CD not to have that extra oomph of the first. I think they're mostly unknown cause they like it like that.

greg84
Emeritus
January 6th 2010


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. Definitely the second cd is not as good as the first. Still, I found myself emotionally connected to this material. The fact that this band is so unknown is a mystery for me whether they want it or not.

cb123
October 21st 2010


2215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice review man pretty good stuff enjoyable stuff on here

greg84
Emeritus
October 22nd 2010


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a bunch.

ABjordanMM
December 4th 2012


1709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of my favorite hard rock kinda albums. Sadly over-looked album.

greg84
Emeritus
December 4th 2012


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. It's sad that their other albums aren't very good.

ABjordanMM
December 4th 2012


1709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually like their new one. Second one wasn't too great though.

TheSupernatural
February 20th 2014


1739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is now on Spotify :D



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