Review Summary: Parabelle settles into a comfortable groove in their most consistent release to date.
I recall reading an interview several years ago with Parabelle's frontman and lead vocalist, Kevin Matisyn. In the interview, he stated that his biggest influence was fellow Canadian Matthew Good. It's curious how Matisyn's career has paralleled Good's. They both gained popularity in different bands originally (The Matthew Good Band and Evans Blue). Their best work came out shortly after these bands (Avalanche
and A Summit Borderline/A Drop Oceanic
). Now they have both settled comfortably in a style that matches a sound closer to their first bands.
On The Kill Plan
, Parabelle keeps things fairly straightforward. Unlike Your Starry Eyes Will Never Make Us Even
and Reassembling the Icons
, the song structures and dynamics maintain a fairly predictable pattern. That being said, the guitar and vocal melodies keep things pretty interesting. Matisyn's voice tends to be the focus of Parabelle's music, and The Kill Plan
is no exception. Some songs like "Shattering" and "Shallows succeed specifically because of the vocals. Others like "Like a Bird" are moved along through intricate guitar work. Throughout the album's entirety, the songs feel very cohesive. Consistent can be a synonym for monotonous in music, but Parabelle seems to avoid that in large part because of the attention to detail to every verse and chorus. On the production side, the layered vocal effect that have been a signature of Parabelle's is used more sparingly and more effectively.
Lyically, Parabelle also remains consistent in this album. Even with some very familiar topics (personal relationships and personal reflection), The Kill Plan
stands out in some areas. Songs like "Prisoner" and "Kiss the Flag: The Wounded" are noteworthy for their lyricism, which add a bit of imagery to the trend of emotional songs with vague wording. There are moments where it can be amusing to see how many different ways the words "cold," "eyes," "sun," "light," and "dark," can be used, but Matisyn still manages to compose the lyrics into an appealing form.
I doubt The Kill Plan
will be lauded by anyone as Parabelle's best album, but it remains a well-crafted addition to Parabelle's discography. Several songs have mainstream appeal and it would be unsurprising to see them make their way to rock radio stations.