Thursday, May 3, 2012

Paradox - Heresy [1989]

Germany is the Sweden of thrash, a place where you would find hordes of thrash bands. All particularly vicious and savage, the German thrash metal bands were altered and influenced heavily by their most primal countrymen like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction. This trio shaped and respectfully  embodied the German scene, thus constructing into the scene that it is now known as. Paradox, however, were a slightly peculiar group, displaying much different influences and sounds on the table than the already present  unpolished, vicious form of thrash that seemed to flow in the vein of all the German bands of the 80's and early 90's. Everyone brags about their debut album, a relatively fun piece of techy speed/thrash that was already highly present, or their later offerings which still aren't bad offerings, however, these people ought to be informed that ''Heresy'' is their true magnum opus, their most influential, their most effective and their sharpest. ''Heresy'' introduced even more melodic riffing and here, Paradox churned together Bay Area-oriented thrash with power metal most successfully. This is album is gleaming and teeming with energy, and its definitely something that Bay Area thrashers or old school power metal nerds should check out.

Usually well composed songs and simple song architecture doesn't catch my attention right off, but on this album, every aspect is put into place in a very organized manner, so the typical verse-bridge-chorus structure actually becomes an enjoyable experience because you can actually sing along with the catchy choruses and remember the riffing whenever in explodes once more. Every riff is just razor-sharp, and Paradox manages to constantly absorb the listener with a diverse assault, without even being so technical or heavy, showing that a simple, crushing riff isn't the only thing that fuels the fire of a thrasher. Like I said, the album is teeming with energy and vigorous bursts of pure melodic, Bay Area influenced thrash which comes in an abundance. Speaking of melody, I think Paradox is one of the first bands that successfully merge power metal with thrash metal, and not only that but also add some technical spunk on top of the riffs to boast their quality. The power metal influence is inserted in every element of the music is a healthy dose, but certain riffs have a more epic side to them, showing that the power metal influence is the main thing that keeps their blood boiling. The leads are also stellar, dual guitar harmonies, with shredding passages, and the much common sound of the groaning tremolo bar, screaming and shouting, as if being tortured.

The vocalist is an obvious reminiscent of Joey Belladona circa ''Among The Living'' era Anthrax. His style is perhaps a little more high-pitched than the famous thrash frontman, but it only complements the music better as power metal is all about screaming your lungs off with intense energy in the vocal department. There's a vast array of technical and melodic thrash riffing on the title track which tends to live slightly longer than any other song on the album, and ''Search For Perfection'' starts where the title track left, carrying out the robust thrash energy with some more simple riffs, and ''Killtime'' introduces some lower fret tremolo descending and  even more melodic spikes constantly battering the listener. ''Massacre Of The Cathars'' is one of the albums most stellar highlights, gathering all that has been previously done in one package and then displaying them in a most eruptive way. Just as it produces some expeditious power/thrash riffing, it also follows the same path as its primal German ancestors, bringing forth some engaging thrash crushers, while still keeping the the substance sturdy. Paradox truly concentrated and worked hard on this album, because while many people are blindly adore the primitive death/thrash aesthetics originated in Germany, their eyes cannot endure the flashiness of this masterpiece, rendering it a true underground gem.

''Search For Perfection''
''Massacre Of The Cathars''

Final Rating:
Masterpiece [9.2/10]