Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. is one of those bands that I want to fall deeply in love with, but I have no idea why anymore. This inexplicable yearning for that special spark with this German quartet no doubt owes its existence partially to the group’s super-fun debut, Time Tears Down. Since then, Parasite Incrapidly declined into cheesy, stale melodic metal that made me cringe more often than not. I had hoped that Cyan Night Dreams, the band’s third full length, might be the start of their redemption arc.

Then again, it might not. After Time Tears Down, the band shifted from energetic, folk-tinged, bar-crawling melodeath to a hypermodern, cyberpunk-inspired palette. That would’ve been an awesome shift in style if Parasite Inc. carried their exuberant songsmithing along for the transition. Sadly, they stepped everything down to saccharine, chintzy melodic metal—reminiscent of Arch Enemy and current In Flames—that lacks any kind of impact. Where synths were once a thing of incredible scarcity, they are now at the forefront, backed by riffs that seem content with the benchwarmer role. When the band does play hard like they used to, they still lack the indomitable fire they once held.

Cyan Night Dreams continues this trend, although there are a few moments where I catch a glimpse of the hunger that characterized the band’s initial work. During a three-song stretch in the center (“Follow the Blind,” the addicting “Under Broken Skies,” and “Into Destruction”), I find myself considerably more engaged with Parasite Inc.’s new material than I have in years. Their lyrics might not be any better than your average emo-rock garage band’s, but the riffs are fun and the energy ramps back up to healthy levels after a rather anemic first half. The chorus and synths on “Under Broken Skies” are impossible to resist, making that song the highlight of the record. Alternatively, some may prefer the more aggressive “Follow the Blind,” which bites just hard enough to indicate that Parasite Inc. hasn’t lost all of their teeth just yet.

Nevertheless, the record is still in dire need of a nice, hot blood infusion. The majority portion of Cyan Night Dreams consists of sleepy chugs without any sense of momentum, and lyrics that only seem to get more insufferable as time passes. Lines like “You’re like a first born / The fucking worst one” (“First Born”) evoke a level of maturity and emotional depth on par with that of teenage angst, leaving me unfulfilled and unimpressed. Elsewhere, two instrumentals (“Lithium” and “Osmium”) contribute nothing to the songwriting or the story, and in both cases share an equivalent amount of nothing to tie in with the album’s aesthetic. In turn, these small incidentals create a huge rift in cohesion and movement throughout Cyan Night Dreams. Additionally, when you compare all of the songs here—even the good ones—with past megahits like “The Scapegoat,” they pale in comparison. “I Am” and closer “When All Is Said” are particularly gutless, every bit as flimsy as the instrumentals despite being fully realized compositions. These, and several other, tracks lack personality despite competent performances, invisibly gliding through me without leaving a meaningful impression behind by which to remember them.

In short, there simply isn’t enough substance behind Cyan Night Dreams to make it compelling, memorable, or worthwhile. I like the aesthetic Parasite Inc. pursued since detaching from Time Tears Down’s more straightforward, beer-soaked approach. However, there was no good reason for them to also abandon every ounce of vitality that defined that immense debut. And yet, I still wait for Parasite Inc. to realize their mistake, pick themselves back up, and resurge. Just like always, I keep my fingers crossed that, when album four comes around, they’ll get it right.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Release
Websites: facebook.com/ParasiteInc | parasiteinc.bandcamp.com
Releases Worldwide: August 19th, 2022

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