Paragon - The Dark Legacy 2003 Remedy Records - Reviewed by EC
1. The Legacy 2. Mirror Of Fate 3. Breaking Glass 4. Black Hole 5. Eye Of The Storm 6. Maze Of Dread 7. The Afterlife 8. Green Hell 9. Back From Hell 10. Into The Black (Digipack bonus track)
For years I had heard the name Paragon. Many power metal fans had described Paragon as a mighty band that could carry the German metal movement into the next millenium.
In 1999, after reading so many fantastic things, I purchased the group's "Chalice Of Steel" record. Was Paragon really that great? No. Absolutely not. I despised the vocals of Andrea Babuschkin and found bands like Primal Fear and Grave Digger light years ahead of Paragon. I put the record into my B & C grade metal stacks and moved on.
2002. Again rave reviews are spreading all over the web about the great things Paragon are doing. The band's 2002 release, "Law Of The Blade" was glorified as the premier flag bearer for German power metal. Again, curiosity killed the cat and I found myself picking the record up (I do this quite often, its how I've aquired three Six Feet Under albums in my collection...YUCK!). "Law Of The Blade" was probably the record I played the most last year. The album was like hearing a totally different band. Epic songwriting that focused on metal anthems, huge production courtesy of Piet Sielck, and an intense hunger to create a memorable metal masterpiece really saw Paragon moving in a different direction. Finally the praise and glory was justified.
Now, in 2003, could the band follow-up that success with a record of equal value? Most definitely!
Paragon's newest release, "The Dark Legacy", is a pure metal gem, again with Piet Sielck behind the control panel giving this metal thunderstorm crystal clear sound. The same lineup has returned, along with the same fire and passion that made the last record special. We get more memorable songs like "Back From Hell", "Breaking Glass", and "Eye Of The Storm". The album's title track is simply fabulous, with complete guitar domination from Martin Christian and Claudius Cremer.
"Mirror Of Fate" reminds me of Grave Digger, with the band's rapid fire riffs and that huge epic chorus we have come to expect from these great Germans. "Black Hole" is pure metal brutality, sounding like a cross between Overkill and Wardog. The group even lets a little doom creep in on "Afterlife", which starts out with a mammoth styled groove. The songwriting is becoming more mature, as each song tells a chapter in this concept record about time travel through mirrors.
The packaging that Remedy has put together for this release is one of the best I've seen. A very colorful digipak encloses a beautifully detailed disc, complete with killer artwork on the disc itself, and the only disc I've seen that has writing on the underside.
Paragon have indeed taken over German power metal. Its taken them a few records to practice their craft, but now they are masters of their own domain. I can't wait for another record!
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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