1. Intro/Impaler 2. Assassins 3. Traitor 4. Masters Of The Seas 5. Revenge 6. Symphony Of Pain 7. Beyond The Veil 8. The Battle Rages On 9. The Art Of War 10. Empire Of The Lost 11. The Gods Made Heavy Metal
After the recent disappointment of the newest Grave Digger installment, my Germany metal veins have been running a bit low these days. Grave Digger has always held the metal torch when it comes to the Teutonic worship of all things gritty and gold. With Rebellion, Solemnity, and Wizard still waiting to be released this year, it could be quite a dry summer without the German thunder. But alas, one of the country's absolute finest power groups have emerged with a new record, a new distro deal, and a not so new attitude. Paragon ride the black wings of death again, high in the saddle under the true metal flag. With "Revenge" Paragon set sights on America, with this really being their first exposure to US shores. Still licensed under their label Remedy for the Euro market, now Paragon get shipped up and ready to sell in America, packaged through Cleopatra Records subsidary Magick Records, who have rolled the dice and took their chances with the trendy US audience.
This record really could be a breakthrough here in the US. As the band's "Law Of The Blade" record lit a fire under the German metal folk, "Revenge" could be a tremendous success if enough quality publications echo the fact that Paragon are available stateside. So I urge all US power followers to rush to their nearest Best Buy, FYE, Camelot Music, or Circuit City and pick this one up. But what use is there in picking up something that hasn't been described? Well simply put Paragon are German power metal. But beyond that they really hold the banner high for the old school metal sound, enforcing the beliefs and practices set down long ago by Priest, Maiden, and Sabbath. As many bands cater to either a new wave or thrash sound, Paragon really could be closely compared to Accept, with so many of their riffs rock ready and groove oriented. After seven albums of blisterning metal rumble, Paragon are back with a vengeance, ready to put right all the wrongs of the world.
Once again Piet Sielck steps in to assist the band in this effort, as he did on "Steelbound", "Law Of The Blade", and "The Fourth Legacy". This marks the recording debut of new guitarist Günny "Gunman" Kruse, who replaces previous member Claudius Cremer. As a whole this album really compares to the last three records but I do hear some hints of the band's beginning. There is some slower parts to this release, with the epic "Masters Of The Seas" playing a huge role in that aspect of the group. Vocalist Andreas Babuschkin is right on the money here, delivering his brand of metal mayhem in just the right tone, the right amount of energy and fire so to speak. Jan's bass ability is amazing, just working wonders here and rumbling along like a tank, an unstoppable force of destruction. New guitarist Gunny seems to deliver a little bit of a faster pace at times as well, odd that this has some of the slowest Paragon moments as well as the fastest.
Obviously fans of this band will know what to expect here. Paragon just do what they do best, unleashing a pound for pound body shot every time around. These guys are metal and metal all the time. With plenty of Sabbath backbone and the hard rock riff's of Scorpions and Accept, "Revenge" is constructed as the perfect riff rocker. From the Van Helsing themed "Impaler" to the rather doomy "Beyond The Veil", these Germans show they are really in their prime, with this new album just a showcase of raw ability and talent. They go beyond their years, incorporating eveyrthing we know and love about metal into one chaotic thunderstorm of utter heaviness. They have done everything and done it exactly right. Next stop for Paragon, to end world hunger.
Choice cuts for me are "Impaler", "Assassins", and "Masters Of The Seas".
Note - The band pay homage to one of Teutonic metal's founding fathers, Manowar, with a cover of "The Gods Made Heavy Metal".
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.
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