Paradox – “Pangea” (AFM Records)
Celebrating its 30th anniversary comes Paradox’s 7th album! Formed in 1986 by guitarist / vocalist Charly Steinhauer, who’s managed to survive intestinal cancer, Paradox has always been in the minds of German thrash n speed metal fans, especially in their early days when they were seen as rising equivalents to Metallica! Despite a 10 year hiatus through the 90s and Steinhauer’s aforementioned hospitalization, in recent years the band have been more active with regular releases, even if the line up continues to change. “Pangea” is actually the follow up to 1989’s “Heresy”, released as a concept around a final super continent and symbolic for the beginning of the end of life on earth through various cataclysmic scenarios. The longest album in Paradox’s history, Steinhauer spent 1.5 years creating “Pangea”, which incidentally, he also produced. Well, it was worth it! From massive Metalli-riffs rebounding all over the place and heaps of virtuosic soloing, it’s clear that Paradox are still very much thrashers as on songs like ‘El Muerte’ although the likes of ‘Ballot or Bullet’ and ‘Manhunt’ show what this band are really all about, namely piling in tons of classy melodies, catchy choruses and captivating hooks amid their obvious speed and power. With Steinhauer’s still gravelly but highish voice in lead, he actually went the whole hog in re-uniting the original line-up of the band’s 1987 debut “Product of Imagination” to handle the backing vocals on this anniversary release, which thanks to his unflappable determination, prove that Paradox are still alive and very much out there. Headbanging and heartbreak – what more could you ask for?!