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Paragon
Force Of Destruction

Company: Napalm
Release: 2012
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • This is the best the band has sounded in years



  • This German grunt truck has been pushing heavy Teutonic metal since the early 90s. In a time where more bands were opting out of metal (US and otherwise), Paragon were just stepping in. Ten records so far and the band has made quite a name for themselves, at this point doing Grave Digger and Running Wild much better than Rolf and Chris. All great things eventually seem to recycle, the life's blood drained and then filled again. That same sort of cycle has affected Paragon.

    For this tenth studio effort the band has a complete makeover. In fact this band does not have one single remaining member from it's conception and debut record (Exciter anyone?). The original Paragon that we knew has departed and what remains are the two oldest members in Andreas Babuschkin and Jan Bunning, both of which joined six years after the band's beginning. Going into 2012 the band replaced guitarists Martin Christian (founding member) and Gunny Kruse (joined in 2007) with newcomers Jan Bentram and Wolfgang Tewes. Bassist Dirk Siefert is replaced by Jan Bunning, an odd circumstance considering Siefert replaced Bunning back in 2007. With all of the internal changes comes a difference in labels as well. The five year marriage with Massacre Records has ended and the group begin their new life with Napalm.

    So are the changes an improvement or a decline in quality?

    "Force Of Destruction" rivals and may even surpass the band's crowning achievement in "Law Of The Blade". This is the best the band has sounded in years and improves in terms of guitar playing, production and intensity. "Iron Will" starts the show with a massive chorus and mid-way you can hear the dueling melodic leads from Tewes and Bentram, something that has never really been present before. That same chemistry prevails on "Rising From The Black", amazing twin guitar dueling about three minutes into the song. We still get the trademark Teutonic galloping, evident on Accept like "Gods Of Thunder" and "Blades Of Hell", both packing a punch in the way the guitars are really crips and up front, all locked and loaded with the pounding double bass and quick snap snares. The band show off some slower numbers on "Dynasty" and the ghoulish "Demon's Lair" and throw down some serious Candlemass doom on epic "Blood And Iron". The band still place speedy numbers in the mix as well, highlight being the Running Wild like "Secrecy". The album comes with two bonus tracks, a mean cover of Accept's "Son Of A Bitch" and an alternate version of "Blood And Iron" featuring Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween).


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: PARAGON
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Force Of DestructionParagon
    2012
    Eric Compton4/25/2013
    RevengeParagon
    2005
    Eric Compton5/26/2005
    The Dark LegacyParagon
    2003
    Eric Compton10/1/2003


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: PARAGON
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Hell Beyond HellParagon
    2016
    Eric Compton7/12/2016


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: PARAGON
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Jan BunningParagonEric Compton11/20/2003


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