Album review: PARADOX – Heresy II, End Of A Legend

PARADOX – Heresy II, End Of A Legend

AFM Records [Release date: 24.09.21]

German giants of Thrash, Paradox are well known within the genre. They have a sizeable coterie of discerning fans who’ve followed them since the band’s inception in 1986. Had their chosen genre been say, power metal, they would easily be as big as Helloween or Iron Saviour. No question.

Any doubts about that claim will be dispelled by listening to their eighth album, Heresy II, the second half of 1990′s Heresy release. Lyrically, reflections on the persecution of the Cathars in 14th century Europe will not sit comfortably with many, but the original Heresy album sold well.

The music is dramatic, battle hardened metal, armed with speeding bullets of thrashed out melody and barbed, biting axework, surrounded on all sides by locomotive riffs.

Opener, ‘Mountains And Caves’, ‘Children Of A Virgin’ and ‘Journey Into Fear’ are all cast from the same template. As each song opens, Charlie Steinhauer and Christian Munzner’s pummeling guitars signal an early warning. They’re quick to reach a gallop, then even quicker to accelerate into some lightning fast Thrash, led by Steinhauer’s breathless, quasi spoken word growl. This is music as an emotional power, disturbing, lyrical, technical, dark in places, light in (very few) others.

The ghost of early Metallica – a clear influence on a fledgling Paradox – creeps noisily into ‘Man Of Sorrow’ and ‘Priestly Vows’, but in fairness, that band’s influence has long been assimilated into the visceral, violent power of the Paradox sound.

The intensity can be unnerving at times, the rhythms underlying so many of these tracks have a panicky pace. A desperate rush for salvation. We should hope Paradox get there soon. ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

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