Released: 2012, AFM
As much as we try here at Metal-Rules.com, it is hard to review every big album within the calendar year. Just when I think I have got a good percentage of the albums covered, more pop up! Looking back, there were seven releases from 2012 that we should have covered in 2012. Black Majesty, Devil’s Train, Nightmare, Obsession, Paradox, Perzonal War and Trail Of Murder. Better late than never. Enjoy my mini 2012 Backlog Reviews feature!
After some sporadic output of three albums in almost 20 years, Germany’s Paradox have been on a bit of a roll with three albums in the last four years now. I mentioned this in my Obsession review that sometimes a band can have their best albums later in their career. I would have no hesitation in saying TALES OF THE WEIRD is my favourite Paradox album. They really nailed it this time. The band is still on AFM but since RIOT SQUAD in 2009 they have become a quartet replacing their drummer and adding a new lead guitarist and you can really tell the move from a power trio to a twin guitar attack really helped fill out the bands sound.
A major selling point for me is the fantastic production. It’s heavy, distorted and just ever so slightly industrial. I don’t mean industrial like ministry but perhaps more like a hint of Fear Factory and what some thrash bands were doing in the 90’s when trying to modernize their sound, like late-90’s era Testament. The presentation is nice as well with a gorgeous cover. Speaking of cover’s the band throws in a Rainbow cover at the end that is a bit of an odd choice but it fits the era that they grew up. The ten track album clocks in at a respectable 55 minutes.
TALES OF THE WEIRD starts off very ambitiously with the title-track, a 9+ minute epic, that after a short intro is pretty relentless. It is a monster track that sets the tine for the rest of the album. The Power/Thrash mix works beautifully, the speed and energy of thrash and the heaviest of Power Metal make for a great blend. Paradox have really increased the intensity on this record. RIOT ACT was good but had a bit too much rock and roll influence to really catch my ear, whereas TALES have really brought their best to the table. The while album is pretty fast but there are some atmospheric introductions segments and interludes, but for the most part it’s a horserace to the finish line. I’m enjoying the gang vocals at times bringing depth to the vocals of Charly. They aren’t used often but when they are, they are used to good effect like on the track ‘Brutalized’.
Paradox have outdone themselves on TALES. The best parts of speed/thrash and Power all mixed into great songs, fierce and intense all the way through. It’s often hard for a band to mix the two styles and succeed, in fact not many bands try to bridge the two sounds but Paradox seem to do it effortlessly. TALES OF THE WEIRD is a fine example of the state of the art.