PARADOX - TALES OF THE WEIRD (AFM Records / Rock Inc.)
(Review by Stefan)
Since the mid 80s, Germany spoiled us with masses of excellent Speed/Thrash Metal bands – impossible to mention them all but to list the most important ones, the so called pioneers, I’d like to name the following: Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Exumer, Holy Moses, Vendetta, Deathrow, Angel Dust, Vendetta, Living Death, Assassin, Violent Force,… I purposely forgot to list one band called Paradox, the fab 4 from Würzburg - formed back in 1986. Decisive for their career were the band’s early recordings, two demo’s released around ‘86/’87. Roadrunner noted Paradox which led to a close collaboration between band and label. A first full album was shot under the title of “Product Of Imagination”, year of appearance: 1987 / label: Roadrunner Records. I still remember this effort had a huge impact on me because of the great tracks the album had to offer. Categorized as Speed/Thrash Metal, Paradox knew how the play it in style!
“POI” was a very good piece to me but the best had yet to come… their second “Heresy” outclassed this debut album on all fronts. You immediately felt that Paradox had grown in the field of musical skill and also, they even turned up the speed which we, Metal maniacs, liked a lot. Those days, the faster we could bang our heads to the fast rhythms, the better we felt – except for the day after while we fought a huge hangover and neck pain! As for myself, these two Paradox albums are their best ones ever released. They’ve brought out three other albums like: “Collision Course” (2000), “Electrify” (2008) and “Riot Squad” (2009), one by one good efforts but did not reach the level of “POI” and “Heresy”.
Delivering outstanding Metal for at least 25 years, an achievement that earns my sincere appreciation! Good news is that on the 14th. of December 2012, Paradox will be back with a brand new album entitled ‘Tales Of The Weird”. Produced by singer/guitarist Charly Steinhauer and mixed by the hands of V. Santura in the Woodshed Studio (Landshut) – make note that the entire album is able to easily blow you away. Strength, speed, technical skills and precision, razorsharp melodies, unexpected passages and stuff… make sure you have saved enough energy to survive Paradox’s Speed/Thrash Metal assault. There are guest appearances by Firewind’s Bob Katsionis and Gus Drax (Sunburst), artwork done by Claudio Bergamin. Let’s found out some more information on the songs…
I’ve played all of the songs on “Tales Of The Weird” a few times so far and have to admit that this effort isn’t a good one at all – I’d rather like to describe it as extraordinarily fantastic! Listen up, this the best album from Paradox after both successors “Product Of Imagine” and “Heresy”. All the elements that made these Germans so well back in the 80s can be found on the new album as well which makes me one hell of a pleased person.
Opener and title track “Tales Of The Weird” is an epic minded killer composition with a running time of 9 minutes. You will hear the thunder roar on a windy/rainy night at the start of the song but systematically, acoustic guitars appear in a way like Annihilator’s ‘Alison Hell’ did and all that follows sounds fantastic to me. Step by step, all the instruments come together as one to end up as a real masterpiece. This is the result of a band in excellent condition and there is much more to enjoy on Paradox’s new album. ‘Day Of Judgement’ push me into the direction of good old Megadeth including speed up guitar riffs and deafening, brilliant leads.
More high speed velocities come along with songs like ‘Brutalized’ and ‘Escalation’… these songs prove why the real Paradox stands for, technical power and speed! ‘Brainwashed’ is another killer work due to fantastic guitar riffing and again, awesome shreds – just like all the rest of the songs on “Tales Of The Weird”, detailed perfection comes into its own. Fans of Iced Earth’s “Night Of The Stormrider” alike riffs will have a good time during ‘Zeitgeist’ and it’s time to go real fast again with ‘The Downward Spiral’. And Paradox shut down this swirling album in a high class of beauty, a cover from Rainbow in days of R.J. Dio called ‘A Light In The Black’. Good shot but Paradox mean a lot more than delivering cover songs… along with the new album “Tales Of The Weird”, they bring me the same feel I had back in their early years of existence.
“Product Of Imagination” and “Heresy” stand for true classic albums and this new album will end up the same way out, I’m pretty sure about that! Paradox is fully back in business and ready to take the world of Power/Speed/Thrash Metal by storm! www.paradox-bangers.com
My Points: 90 / 100