German speed/thrash metal!
This is NOT the same Paradox from the US who are a Christian power metal band.

Product of Imagination Paradox - Product of Imagination (Maximum Metal) 1987

1. "Opening Theme" (1:32)
2. "Paradox" (4:13)
3. "Death, Screaming and Pain" (5:07)
4. "Product of Imagination" (7:13)
5. "Continuation of Invasion" [instrumental] (2:11)
6. "Mystery" (5:02)
7. "Kill That Beast" (4:24)
8. "Pray to the Godz of Wrath" (4:41)
9. "Beyond Space" (4:48)
10. "Wotan II" (:15)
11. "Paradox" [live] (4:17)
12. "Death, Screaming and Pain" [live] (4:58)
13. "Execution" [live] (3:17)
14. ""Pray to the Godz of Wrath" [demo] (5:44)

Remember when Metallica was a highly respected band by just about every metalhead? You remember, before they began being included in an 8 year old child's cd collections with the likes of N'Sync, Britney Spears and Limp Bizcrap. Well, this is exactly what Pradox's debut sounds like, early Metallica. Lots of speedy rhythms, crunchy guitars, double bass and even vocals that echo James Hefield. Of course from reading their bio, it is no wonder since at the time the members of Paradox were sell professed Metallica fanatics. Despite this, since Paradox are a German band, their German roots are sure to show through, and they do, especially on cuts like "Pray to the Godz of Wrath.". They actually write some pretty inventive riffs. So, while Metallica comparisons are inevitable, the band also stands on their own. This re-release features four bonus tracks and a very information packed 16 page booklet.

Heresy Paradox - Heresy (RC Records) 1989

1. "Heresy" (6:51)
2. "Search for Protection" (4:52)
3. "Killtime" (4:26)
4. "Crusaders Revenge" (4:23)
5. "The Burning" (5:22)
6. "Massacre of the Cathars" (4:16)
7. "Serenity" (4:49)
8. "700 Years On" (5:11)
9. "Castle in the Wind" [instrumental] (1:29)

Despite the somewhat cheesy cover, 'Heresy' is a skillyfully played thrash concept album. The story is based around the Roman Catholic Crusades of the 13th century. The music is fast to mid-paced, progressive thrash that is very influenced by Metallica. The vocals one the other hand are smooth. One thing I really like in the vocals on this album is that the German accent is apparent, not unlike some Kreator or Blackend discs.

Collision Course Paradox - Collision Course (AFM) 2000

1. "Decade of Sorrow" (:55)
2. "Collision Course" (5:15)
3. "Rearrange the Past" (7:46)
4. "Path of Denial" (6:01)
5. "Savior" (6:25)
6. "Blamed for Nothing" (7:19)
7. "Prostitution of Society" (4:52)
8. "Shattered Illusions" (4:37)
9. "Sadness" (6:07)
10. "Overshadowed" (5:05)
11. "Dynamite" (2:57)

A good friend of mine told me several times over the last year that I need to pick this disc up. Man, what took me so long! This is excellet German thrash metal. This particular disc is the bands reunion disc after being gone for 11 years! The only remaining original member Charly Steinhauer(lead vocals/guitar) brings along 3 new members: Kai Pasemann(lead guitar/background voxs), Oliver Holzwarth (bass),and Alex Holzwarth (drums). This new band simply shreds their entire way through this CD and are proof that thrash metal is alive and well, especially in Germany. 'Dynamite' is a Scorpions cover.

Electrify Paradox - Electrify (AFM Records) 2008

1.  "Second Over Third By Force" (5:11)
2.  "Paralyzed" (1:02)
3.  "Monument" (4:36)
4.  "Portrait In Grey" (5:15)
5.  "Hyperspeed Hallucinations" (6:02)
6.  "Bridge To Silence" (6:36)
7.  "Infected" (6:20)
8.  "Disconnected" (5:33)
9.  "Cyberspace Romance" (5:57)
10.  "Electrify" (6:00)
11. "Infected" [video clip]

“Electrify” is the first new Paradox CD since “Collision Course” in 2000. Apparently this band has been dealing with tons of stress. Mainman Charly Steinhauer had to face the death of his father and his wife not to mention a disease that almost killed him. Several surgeries later Charly came back to write and record “Electrify”.

Thrash metal has become popular in the metal underground in recent years with tons of bands popping up, many sounding like their 80’s heroes, most sounding very unoriginal in their pursuit of thrash for thrash sake. Germany’s Paradox however, are not following this trend and have instead returned with a more progressive, unique sound. Paradox mix their speed metal riffing with progressive songwriting, some power metal overtones and plenty of diversity in tempo and emotion. Being a European thrash band, people may expect Paradox to sound similar to bands like Kreator, Destruction and Sodom, but that is not the case. Rather, Paradox have a sound that bridges a gap between American Thrash (Forbidden, Testament) and American Power/Heavy Metal (Iced Earth, Metal Church). This combined with a superb, modern production, “Electrify” may just be the band’s best CD to date.

I’ve read that the Japanese version of this release contains a bonus track called “Good Morning”. I am curious if this is an original song or a cover of the Blackfoot classic.

Riot Squad Paradox - Riot Squad (AFM Records) 2009

1. Suburban Riot Squad (5:07)
2. Hollow Peace (5:33)
3. Riptide (4:03)
4. Rise in Rank (4:26)
5. Evolution Reset (5:31)
6. Nothingness (5:24)
7. No Place to Survive (2:55)
8. Dream Hero (5:08)
9. Planet Terror (6:43)
10. Psychofficial (3:37)

It took nearly a decade to get a new CD from Paradox. "Electrify" was released in 2008, so it was a bit surprising to hear that Paradox were going to be releasing their fifth album only a year later. As such, the sound hasn't changed dramatically from "Electrify". Paradox are still delivering powerful, energetic and progressive, German speed metal. However, Paradox do not sound completely retro, like many of the current crop of speed and thrash metal bands. They have a modern edge that steers clear of cheesy 'core and instead rely on more modern production techniques, some groove based riffing and technical, tight songwriting. I'd almost compare it to some of the more recent Flotsam & Jetsam CDs, not that Paradox sound like Flots, but inasmuch as they mix their classic sound with a more modern production.

Charly Steinhauer's vocals have improved quite a bit since he was accused of being a Hetfield clone back on "Product of Imagination" and "Heresy". His slightly raspy vocal delivery offers some aggression, but also plenty of melody and memorability. Fans of classic 80's power metal will find much to like here as well, thanks to the vocal delivery which stays away from the typical snarly Sodom, Destruction, Kreator style of German thrash metal.

Right from the beginning with "Suburban Riot Squad", the ears are assaulted with an intense mix of guitars and drums. "Evolution Reset" is a pedal to the metal thrash metal assault. This song takes a more straight forward thrash metal approach, but thanks to diversity in the songwriting and tempos of songs doesn't sound like every other song on the album. "Rise in Rank" is the song that immediately grabbed my ears. This is how thrash metal should be played! Intense guitar riffs, speed, double bass, slightly progressive songwriting, and thumping bass guitar. In my opinion "Riot Squad" may very well be the best Paradox CD yet.

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