Paradox: Heresy II-End Of A Legend-2021.


Fans can expect 75 minutes of finest melodic trash metal on „Heresy II – End of a Legend“ which sounds even in the year 2021 as fresh and new as in its commercial heydays at the end of the 1980s. On September, 24th the time has come: The Return of Thrash with Class!
The roots of Paradox go way back to 1981. After several changes of names, Paradox was born in 1986. The debut “Product of Imagination“ (1987) was like a fresh breeze blowing through the scene, the concept album “Heresy” was an international success and catapulted Paradox in the first league of cult thrashers. More than 30 years later, it’s time for the eighth studio album “Heresy II – End of a Legend“.

TRACKLIST

1. Escape From The Burning
2. Mountains And Caves
3. The Visitors
4. Children Of A Virgin
5. Journey Into Fear
6. Burying A Treasure
7. A Meeting Of Minds
8. Priestly Vows
9. Unholy Conspiracy
10. A Man Of Sorrow (Prologue)
11. A Man Of Sorrow
12. The Great Denial
13. End Of A Legend

Axel Blaha
Drums (1986-1991, 2016-present)
See also: ex-Maniac, ex-Overkill, ex-Poison, ex-Warhead
Charly Steinhauer
Vocals, Guitars (1986-1991, 1998-present)
See also: Exorchrist, Brutal Godz, ex-Brain Damage, ex-Maniac, ex-Overkill, ex-Poison, ex-Warhead
Olly Keller
Bass (2007-2011, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2020-present)
Christian Münzner
Guitars (lead) (2012-2014, 2020-present)
See also: AlkaloidChristian MuenznerEternity’s EndObscuraSerious Black (live), Starchild (live), ex-Daemon’s Gate, ex-Märchenwald, ex-Spawn of Possession, ex-Defeated Sanity, ex-Majesty, ex-Nader Sadek (live), ex-Nightrage (live), ex-Stormwarrior (live), ex-The New Black (live), ex-Civilization One, ex-Hatred, ex-Necrophagist, ex-Metalforce

1 Comment

  1. hells_unicorn, September 25th, 2021
    Written based on this version: 2021, CD, AFM Records (Digipak)
    Though they may not share the same level of visibility as the likes of Kreator, Destruction and Tankard, the Bavarian thrash metal powerhouse Paradox could be seen as a formidable rival to said iconic outfits from a standpoint of musical credibility. Originally conceived under the moniker of Overkill back in 1981, they’d go through a number of name changes throughout the early to mid-80s before making some sizable waves in the German speed metal heyday of 1987 with their riveting, Sci-Fi tinged debut offering Product Of Imagination, drawing from the technical flair of the Bay Area thrash scene and also paralleling the melodic and highly kinetic speed and power metal trappings of such noted acts as Toxik, Agent Steel and Metal Church. However, it could be argued that their signature sound didn’t fully take shape until the more riff oriented sophomore outing and conceptual work Heresy hit the shelves in 1990, presenting a more refined and metallic sound that could trade blows with the likes of Artillery, Heathen and Testament; leading one to speculate as to whether or not a series might have come out of it.

    31 years might be long time to get a part 2, but following a series of highly consistent albums since their 1998 reunion, that is precisely what Paradox has delivered with their 8th studio LP Heresy II – End Of A Legend. Picking up where its predecessor left off regarding the Albigensian Crusade, this installment chronicling a surviving remnant of the defeated Cathars and the eventual propagation of their story. In keeping with this spirit of picking up where things left off, this album sees the return of drummer and co-founder Alex Blaha, whom last played for this outfit on the original Heresy album more than 3 decades ago, though you wouldn’t know it by the rapid fire assault he lays own behind the kit. When combined with the constancy of longtime bassist Olly Keller, virtuoso guitar god Christian Munzer of Defeated Sanity and Necrophagist fame and co-founder and iconic front man/rhythm guitarist Charly Steinhauer, this seasoned quartet form a cohesive, thrash-steeped metallic machine that perfectly channels the spirit of the old days into the present and ups the ante at every turn.

    Relative to its predecessor in this de facto two part series, this entry comes across as more comprehensive, and not merely because it’s almost twice as long. There is a subtle progressive air to how this album unfolds that almost puts it into similar territory to such noted early 90s thrash staples as Heathen’s Victims Of Deception and Realm’s Suiciety, though the tempo and general execution of the songwriting speaks more to a more drawn out version of the wildly fast material more typical to the late 80s. Offerings such as the expositional yet blisteringly swift opener “Escape From The Burning” and it’s longer and concluding counterpart “The Great Denial” include some haunting melodic passages and quieter respites from the auditory carnage that present a vivid picture of the lyrical content, but in spite of their long length could be counted as bludgeoning bangers after the spirit of mid-80s Metallica and Exodus. Slightly shorter yet still drawn out vertebrae-ruining sessions like “The Visitors” and “Journey Into Fear” also function as merciless thrash sessions fit for the mosh pit that also have significant hum-along value given the brilliant melodic vocal and guitar hooks.

    Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the sheer scope of this modern thrash epic is just how well it balances the unrelenting aggression of the thrash style with a theatrical sense of melody and atmosphere. Even when dealing out a full on display of blazing riffs and machine gun drumming as on “Burying A Treasure”, the blend of Steinhauer’s charismatic and tuneful vocal display and the flashy yet idiomatic and smooth shredding displays put forth by Munzer give it an anthem-like quality. On the other hand, when the pendulum swings the other way in favor of slower and more nuanced material such as the dreary power ballad “A Meeting Of Minds”, the heaviness factor is still kept firmly in place. Truth be told, the only time where this band’s balanced approach to impact and atmosphere tips in favor of one over the other is the duo of shorter instrumental offerings towards the album’s end in “A Man Of Sorrows Prologue” and “End Of A Legend”, which surround a closing of trilogy of punchier material including the aforementioned brilliant closer “The Great Denial” and a duo of Metallica-infused mid-paced crushers in “Unholy Conspiracy” and “A Man Of Sorrow”.

    If nothing else, this album reflects the highly unique and difficult to fully categorize character of the band that created it. In essence, though Paradox can be best understood as an adherent to the Teutonic thrash scene that more readily resembles the exploits of their West Coast U.S. rivals, the total picture has a lot more moving parts to it and all but casts them as a sort of missing link between the glory days of thrash metal and the ascendant European power and speed metal movement that ran parallel to it and would ultimately evolve into a similarly consequential movement unto itself during the 1990s. It’s no coincidence that this outfit returned to the scene in the late 90s during the high period of the latter scene, and while it is more in line with those seeking a technically flashier and melodically extravagant answer to the classic exploits of Testament and Heathen, there’s plenty at play here to rope in consumers of USPM and European power metal as well. This is definitely album of the year material insofar as thrash metal goes, and a colossal musical undertaking to boot that is sure to have staying power in the years to come.

    Originally written for Sonic Perspectives (www.sonicperspectives.com)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s