Paradox - Pangea

Paradox Pangea cover
AFM Records
You have to give it to some people like Charly Steinhauer, the sole survivor from the earlier versions of Paradox and basically the main guy in the band that he’s never given up. And ever since they “came back”, they have always taken the time to come up with worthwhile albums that have decent songs and don’t scream contractual obligation. Always a bit more melodic than their more aggressive, “Slayer” copying counterparts, both compatriots or not, they add with “Pangea” another fine album in their collection.
I guess the way they have turned out is quite reminiscent of how Rage sounded a little into their career. Equal parts powerful heavy metal and borderline thrash/speed, with the occasional thrashy guitar cadence or solo and the more punishing drumming style. Having reunited with Gus Drax (Suicidal Angels, Sunburst etc) on guitars to reform a powerful and dynamic duo (no not the batman one!) and taking on the young but formidable Kostas Mylonas (Outloud, Foray Between Ocean, Sunburst) and Tilen Hudrap (lately of Vicious Rumors) on drums and bass respectively, Paradox appears to have all the musical marrow it needs to really come up and get away with anything they want to do. They end up with an album that’s old school in its conception, but up to date performance and soundwise and what more could one ask for?
“Apophis” begins with small forays into the higher echelon of speed and fittingly seems to get all “Ancient Egyptian” demonology on you, just to get you in the mood…
“Raptor” continues down the same way, but infuses the whole thing with a very thrashy riff and it has a chorus that’s just “perfect”.
“The Raging Planet” is even more acidic, with edgier vocals and more urgent riffs, while “The Ballot or The Bullet” attacks political BS and the modern world with the only ammunition it has, words and music.
“Manhunt” might be seven and a half minutes, with a rather extended intro and solos, but it doesn’t become boring for any reason.
“Cheat & Pretend” is a more mid-tempo, yet electrified song, again(st) asshole politicians and their tendency to feel infallible and act like gods.
The title track “Pangea” is a foray into the planet’s past and the original super continent that started it all… calling it the beginning of the end… maybe?
“Vale of Tears” experiments more with melody and because it’s another composition rather on the lengthy side and a tad monotonous, it might feel a bit tiresome to some, although winding down the tension, isn’t exactly bad at this point since the sci-fi influenced “Alien Godz” that follows almost treads Agent Steel ground both thematically and musically, definitely the most speedinous song on the album.
While “El Muerte” doesn’t go cowboy, but describes an implosion of the earth, destroying civilization as we know it… (oh joy!)
Paradox are still putting out great and solid albums without fail and compared with many third rate newcomers and younger welps that base themselves on a variety of gimmicks and cover songs as singles, they are vastly preferable.