Alpha Centauri

-- Cyanide Paradise --

Stijn Daneels

Album genres:
Melodic death metal
Album artists:
Linn Liv Vocals
Martin Vos Guitars, vocals
Jeff Wennekes Bass

Review written by Stijn "Metal Shredder" Daneels.


My first encounter with the people behind Cyanide Paradise was when Carol “Raven Shredder” went to Metaldays 2018 and took pictures of the Dutch blackened symphonic death metal band Pictura Poesis who were performing at the New Forces stage during the festival. Eventually I was contacted by the band’s vocalist Linn Liv who offered her sincere praise for Raven Shredder’s pictures and the three of us kept in contact with each other ever since. Recently Linn introduced me to her new project Cyanide Paradise and its debut EP and that’s what I’ll be shredding right now!


“Reach for the Stars” is the first release from the Dutch melodic death metal band Cyanide Paradise formed earlier this year and consisting of members from the aforementioned extreme symphonic metal band Pictura Poesis (vocalist Linn Liv and bassist Jeff Wennekes) as well as guitarist Martin Vos who played in the symphonic metal act Veil of Delusions. “Reach for the Stars” is an independent release and consists of 4 tracks for a solid 20 minute runtime.

Compared to the bands where Cyanide Paradise’s trio hails from, its sound is more down to earth and straightforward. While both Pictura Poesis and Veil of Delusions rely on plenty of symphonic stuff along with some good heavy riffage Cyanide Paradise’s style is stripped from anything other than highly melodic guitar riffs, screeching vocals and mid-paced bass and drum rhythms. The drums were made using a drum computer, but the band made the wise decision to put as much emphasis as possible on the guitar melodies and extreme vocals and that’s exactly wherein Cyanide Paradise shines the most.

Linn Liv’s vocals are naturally raw and attention-grabbing while Martin’s guitar work is full of energy and power further backed by Jeff’s groovy bass lines. It evokes an upbeat, high-octane feel despite the overall heaviness of the songs and the harshness of Linn’s vocals. It’s a thematically dark EP, but the commanding vocals and melodic guitars make this one package to headbang and air-guitar to with pure lust for life.


Cyanide Paradise’s lyrics deal with contemporary world issues like global pollution, threatening nuclear warfare, epidemics and the foreboding end of all life on earth. However, the Cyanide Paradise folks don’t hang their heads in hopelessness. Instead, they’re confident that we, humanity, can overcome total annihilation by either radically changing our philosophies and lifestyles or by launching ourselves into space in the hopes of finding a new, habitable planet. And I must admit that their mix of dread and optimism is clearly sold through their dark heroic death metal sound.


The title track of “Reach for the Stars” takes the cake here. It’s a long and multi-faceted song with both distorted and operatic guitar riffs, inspiring vocals and an epic ending, all helping this song provoke a larger-than-life atmosphere. Another favorite of mine is the preceding track, “Pestilence.” The fastest and heaviest track on the EP, featuring badass vocals as well as being the only track with a guitar solo! And an epic one at that! More of that stuff, please!

Personally, I felt that the EP’s first two tracks weren’t as impressive compared to its other two tracks. “Subatomic” is very catchy but also quite repetitive compared to the other songs and while “Enlightenment” has more varied sections compared to “Subatomic” it lacks some of the punch of the other songs. Still, I had some fun with those first two tracks and a lot of fun with the other two, so prepare the launch pad for…


7,5 trips to Alpha Centauri out of 10. While Cyanide Paradise’s first outing has a couple of hiccups, I’m very pleased with overall quality and raw power I’ve heard from this band thus far. Cyanide Paradise’s less-is-more philosophy is very effective as they managed to create a larger-than-life feel using just the regular metal arsenal of engaging vocals, solid drum beats and soaring guitars. Well-recommended if you’re looking for a quick and sweet melodic death metal fix! Here’s the lyric video for “Reach for the Stars."