Paradox – Electrify

Reviewed: April 2008
Released: 2008, AMF Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Paradox. An underrated, progressive speed/thrash metal act hailing originally from Würzburg in Southern Germany, and which was founded by Charly Steinhauer (v,g) and Axel Blaha (dr) in 1986. The band recorded two excellent albums during the ´80s (PRODUCT OF IMAGINATION in 1987 and HERESY in 1989) ´til they called its quits for almost 10 years. Paradox was reactivated again in 1999 and got to play f.ex. at the legendary Wacken Open Air festival in August 1999 as well as starting the recording of their 3rd full-length album, COLLISION COURSE, in November the very same year. The album, which was eventually released by AMF Records from Germany in August 2000, received rave reviews around the globe and the band members did their absolute best to get the band back on its feet again by playing a number of important shows, including Bang Your Head festival in June 2001.

Soon, however, this little thing called fate snaps his merciless fingers, and one of the founding members Charly got his private life helter-skelter due to numerous tragedies and setbacks in his personal life. All this led to an inevitable situation eventually: Paradox was forced to be put on ice, once again. After that, no one actually knew whether the band was forgotten in its icy grave for good or not.

The turning point of Paradox´s 2nd coming happened in September 2005, when Charly had won his battle with some serious health issues that he had for many years. He decided to give another try to Paradox and warmed up the idea about this 2nd comeback of the band together with Kai Pasemann.

ELECTRIFY is Paradox´s 4th album (released via AMF Records in January 2008), and it´s, to say at least, a huge (2nd) comeback from this talented German fivesome. The band´s speed/thrash style on ELECTRIFY – spiced with tiny doses of power metal here and there, comes across as powerful, innovative, clever, intense, progressive and thoroughly very well executed – not to mention it is full of burning passion and true determination to make the whole package stand out on its own merits. At first a listener gets punished by a vicious riff fest that is presented in \”Second over Third by Force\” – and after that the beating never seems to stop. Terrific and massive riff bursts, marvelously churned out solos, many tastefully yet ingeniously done tempo changes, Charly´s powerful singing, etc – they all create such an overwhelming musical experience, even for the most demanding consumer of speed/thrash metal. When a listener gets spoiled even more by such strongly presented compositions as “Hyperspeed Hallucinations”, \”Infected\” and “Electrify” that both are strong proof about the band members´ brilliant skills to write unforgettably breath-taking songs, it´s very easy to welcome these skilled German fellows back to us again – and wish them a long career with the band. I remember when I first gave a listen to ELECTRIFY, I was blown away by the record so much that it got stuck in my CD player for the next couple of months – without me even realizing how fully and totally mesmerized I was because of the greatness of it. Therefore it could honestly be stated that Paradox´s 2nd coming is undoubtedly one of those few, worthy comebacks that make a day somehow truly special for the fans of them – unlike some other so-called ´comebacks´ that shouldn´t have done in the first place at all.

ELECTRIFY deserves your undivided attention as it will surely set you on fire the same way like any of their other 3 albums may have done in the past, just believe me just this one time.


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Track Listing:
01. Second over Third by Force 02. Paralyzed
03. Monument
04. Portrait in Grey
05. Hyperspeed Hallucinations
06. Bridge to Silence
07. Disconnected
08. Cyberspace Romance
09. Electrify

Charly Steinhauer – Vocals, guitar
Kai Pasemann – Guitar, backing vocals
Roland Keller – Bass
Roland Jahoda – Drums