Paradox - Heresy

Paradox - Heresy

Paradox - Heresy

(1989, Roadracer Records)

If you, the average Thrash fan, ever decide to dig dipper in this malicious genre’s kist you’ll probably come up with some hidden treasures you never imagined they even existed. Focusing on the German Thrash style in particular, the divine makings of kings such as KREATOR, SODOM and DESTRUCTION certainly left their venomous marks once they were unleashed – talking about the 80s deeds – but there was further quality unseen and obstructed by the loaded Media exposure of the aforementioned rulers. And, yes, fellow maniacs like TANKARD did finally get their share but brutal outfits like DARKNESS, EXUMER or PARADOX had their initial pressings hailed only by some small hordes of dedicated fans. It’s no wonder, though, those original works are highly praised in our days, more than two decades later…

PARADOX had aces up their sleeve even before any material was to see the light of day: Charly Steinhauer and Charly Steinhauer. Yes, it’s not a typo here. The band’s mainman was quite confident for both his guitar playing and singing abilities, and what the fans witnessed in the band’s 1987 debut was not a lie. Here was a band that was ready to deliver some neck-breaking riffing with thrashin’ aesthetics but some primitive sense of melody (in the solos and vocals) too, not solely based on the pounding-hard alike patterns of its compatriots; but the best was yet to come. Two years later “Heresy” was recorded and let loose sending shivers down our spine.

“Heresy” has two strong points of reference: first of all it is a concept album talking about how the official Roman Catholic Church crusaded against religion teams with a different (in general) aspect and the way this plot is expanded is intelligently set and fitting to the music. The music itself, on the other hand, has all the basic Thrash ingredients of the late 80s: speed, sharpness, an up-to-an-extend complexity, some distance from the monolithic debuts circa 1985-1985 but also uses the strong material that e.g. METALLICA or some other Bay Area bands offered with their after-the-debut discs. The solos are strong and quite melodic at times but without omitting something from the songs’ volume. The vocals of Charly are even better in this album, exchanging narrative and assaulting timbres, while the concept language ties well with the songs’ structure.

One more bonus point is the production, handled by none other than expert of the time Harris Johns (SODOM, TANKARD, HELLOWEEN, CORONER, PESTILENCE etc). The sound is crystal clear, extra attention has been given – as needed – to the guitar leads harmonies and the mix shines throughout the album. An album with many riffs, really many riffs, but no intention to be listened to as a simple means of vice. PARADOX hailed for so much more and – for those who have followed their further steps – the German band still delivers lethal dozes of ‘melodic’(?) Thrash without showing any signs of wear. Hence, if you consider yourself a Thrash fan and come across this molten piece of Metal history grab it, push aside anything else you may want to do at the time, unfold the lyrics sheet and let the story and music travel you. It will be a memorable journey, trust me.


Tracklist

01. Heresy
02. Search For Perfection
03. Killtime
04. Crusader’s Revenge
05. The Burning
06. Massacre Of The Cathars
07. Serenity
08. 700 Years On
09. Castle In The Wind


Lineup

Charly Steinhauer - Guitars, Vocals
Markus Spyth - Guitars
Matthias Fries (Schmitt) - Bass
Axel Blaha - Drums