by Mely Duong
Paradigms are typically defined to be an prototypical model, template, or standard. This definition has served the New Jersey metal band Paradigms well as they have exemplified skill in combining influences from your various metal subgenres such as metalcore, deathcore, djent in addition to some flavorful additions of hip hop and indie. This smooth amalgam of influences has benefited their sound as it has allowed them to approach their music from all sorts of musical backgrounds and experiences, thus providing them a unique twist on the traditional throwdown and incessant go hard sound. It’s just enough to prevent them from becoming a complacent and droll metal band.
Founded in 2013, Paradigms has evolved in terms of song structure and patience. Although they put their all in the initial material, their newer stuff showcases what only experience can improve, a more cohesive flow in terms of vocalization, more captivating lyrics, and intricate guitar riffs. Both experience and diligent dedication have helped to mold Paradigms into who they are today. The band actually came about in mid 2013 when Ricky Bermudez, vocalist, moved back to the NJ area and convinced Jonn Kroljic, guitarist and vocalist, to leave his crumbling former band. Via Craigslist and friendships already in place, Joey Jenzano joined in on guitars, Marc Talucci joined in on drums, Seth Gainer on bass, and Brandon McKenna as vocalist for the final lineup. The few lineup changes in the beginning was soon forgotten as the chemistry with this particular group was instantaneous. In fact, “Transition”, a song they wrote early on in the formation of the band ended up on their recently debuted EP, Divergency, and is a testament of how far they all have come in a year.
One particularly distinguishing aspect to this band is the fact that they have two scream vocalists. Expectedly, the dynamic was a bit of a struggle at first between Brandon and Ricky, as both were unsure of how to share the role yet be unique in their own style of vocalization all the while intermingling their talents into one unified front for the band. Of course, they worked it out and the dynamic since then has exploded through the typical expectations of a metal band through careful planning and practice for concise execution. “It differentiates us because Ricky and Brandon have two totally different screaming styles. Ricky has a raspy type scream…Brandon has a low brutal scream, and they both mix perfectly in our songs.”
In terms of inspirations, the unity evident in the South Jersey metal scene has inspired Paradigms to become a better band. Meanwhile, real life situations have played a huge role on the lyrics. For Ricky in particular, his style of writing puts a heavy emphasis on flow of the words and the metaphors. “I’ve always had a passion for lyrics that were straight up in your face but yet left that aftertaste in your mind once you’re done listening to the song.”
These lingering lyrics layered with raw emotion come across clearly in each and every song as seen in Divergency, an accumulation of songs they have written over the past year and recorded at Vibe Studios. The title of the EP hints at how they are not the average gimmicky band concerned with looks. “What we care about is the energy we bring to people when they go to a show…we will make you be happy, sad, anything you want, but we will make you do it with energy.” Personally, the band would recommend “Currents” as their strongest song off the EP.
The band has received much positive feedback for their EP, full of instances of delusional calm crushed by intense screams, consistent drumming, and guitar riffs that are voracious. Expect shows in the local tri-state area over the next few months. They express thanks to their fans out there.