Paragon Impure - Sade

This is a strong black metal inspired album for sure – but I cant say it is a black metal album purely (a question I will leave to the band’s current and future listeners). The reason for this declaration is the thematic nature of the album’s lyrics – reflecting and riffing on the works of, yes, Marquis de Sade (not the first time the Belgian band Paragon Impure would focus a whole album on a singular entity. Their first was "To Gaius" from 2005 (according to their Bandcamp page where you can take it for free) – the entire album is about the life and times of Caligula.

The header on that page states, “In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice”, a quote from Sade himself. So this guy is someone super important to the band’s identity – even before this recent album. In the strictest sense, black metal has tackled a range of topics – but not always satan or devils. Sometimes the nordic myths, Lord Of The Rings themes, and even the grand annihilation of cosmology. But this album seems indirectly focused on not satan, per se, but the Church Of Satan as laid out by Anton LaVey – that whole live for yourself and pleasure thing…

Although, one has to admit, when a band uses such a tag in its header of a web property – I am never sure if this is a real dedication or a dark form of humour! This humour, which I appreciate (if real) also means that I can’t quite commit myself to the listen. Except, the band’s newest release has not taken on such a complex character such as Caligula – they have tackled a complex literary mind instead – a feat of no small effort – and of course following up on some of the points I have already mentioned.

As a reader of international literature, poetry, etc, I am always happy to see bands get inspired by actual writings – as opposed to only cinema or the most generic aspects of a trope (which happens when band members have spent little time actually reading the work of or about said subject). The music itself does not take a long introduction before the proper riffs or lyrics begin – which is refreshing – and keeps the efficiency consistent for the short album. It has the simplicity of Old Man’s Child – but not the smoothness. Paragon Impure’s sound is technically heavier – but definitely more chunky or something (I am still wondering about the right word to use here)

Track 3 adds a nice bit of texture (something I always look for in the albums I review) as it slows down a bit and lets the distorted strings ring in the background (even as the bass and melody continue on throughout). I like this. At about a minute and a half into the track, there is a moment when a higher octave note or two ring out separated from the rest of the sounds. This moment struck me, oddly, as something from Dick Dale’s surf tunes, specifically, that famous track, ‘Misirlou’ from the 1960s. Again, not a bad referent generally, but its questionable intentionality makes me step back a bit.

The album’s continual heaviness is matched very well with its shortness as an album – which then means that this was a pleasurable album. It gets a positive ‘star-count’ from me. Track 5 in particular, has the right amount of texture and focus and was placed in the correct order for the flow of the entire album – in my humble opinion. And track 6, which is quite long, feels like a slow burn apocalypse – even from the beginning (and the track is more than twelve minutes in duration) – and blend really well the propulsive rhythm of the drums and bass with the guitar actions.

I will be interested in reading what others write about it in the near future.


1. Sade I: Introduction To The Divine Marquis
2. Sade II: Juliette, Queen Of Vice
3. Sade III: Mors In Excelsis Deo
4. Sade IV: Repentance Of A Dying Libertine
5. Sade V: Philosophy In The Bedroom
6. Sade VI: The Final Passion, Or The Passion Of Hell