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Paradox: Pangea

After a four year break, partly down to health issues encountered by founder member, guitarist and singer Charley Steinhauer, Paradox return with Pangea. Initially starting out in the 80s as one of a number of bands purveying the then new thrash ethos, Paradox have evolved slowly into quite an eclectic beast. Their sound incorporates a classic US metal attack into a broader framework that takes in a smattering of American power metal and a few strong European influences. That Stateside based-sound, which, when you consider this band were born in Germany, is a little surprising, but with the line up now taking in members from numerous European countries, a more cosmopolitan approach should maybe be expected. Especially with bassist Tilen Hudrap having also featured in Vicious Rumors and Testament.

The four string-man joined in 2015, but with Kostas Milonas (drums) and Christian Meunzner (guitar) joining the band even more recently (although neither would appear to still be with them now), this version of Paradox is almost completely new. So it's to their immense credit and that of Steinhauer, that Pangea is not just a mighty effort of focused metal mayhem, but also a hugely cohesive affair. At times the vocals from the band's main-man are massively expressive, taking in a snarling bite, a steely eyed bark and at times a crazed maniacal glint that reminds of Hell. However it's the combination that he makes with Meunzner that really stands out, the pair putting on a stunning display of riffology and solo-pyrotechnics. In fact, if anything the deluge may at times be simply too full on, the album's mix so bristling and confident that the guitars can even feel oppressive if that's possible in this genre? However with the pounding, proud, "Manhunt", the more frantic attack of "Ballot Or Bullet", or the Megadeth like "Raptor" all being mighty metal statements, this album is definitely more memorable with an OTT wall of sound than it would have been with an apologetically whimpering mix. So maybe best not complain too loudly.

On the strength of Pangea it's easy to hear why Paradox have managed to survive so long in the crowded metal world. This album may not break much new ground, but the familiar stomping patch it does frequent is still one capable of grabbing your attention and refusing to let go.

Track Listing
1. Apophis
2. Raptor
3. The Raging Planet
4. Ballot or Bullet
5. Manhunt
6. Cheat & Pretend
7. Pangea
8. Vale of Tears
9. Alien Godz
10. El Muerte

Added: March 5th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Paradox on Facebook
Hits: 1471
Language: english

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