|Review: Paragon - Revenge|
Label: Remedy Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: May 30, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.08/5 (81.54%) (13 Votes)
The magical seventh album from one of metal's most reliable old-school bands, "Revenge" was one of the releases I have been most looking forward to, and while Jan and the guys have not skimped on the metal one bit, their songwriting seems to have slipped a little.
Now make no mistake, this is no sellout album, and Paragon are just as metal as ever. Opener "Impaler" is a killer riff attack with that classic Paragon gallop and shout-out chorus. But after that, things get a little slow, with "Assassins" and "Traitor", which are both heavy and aggressive, but just don't…quite…hit. I don't know, at first spin they sound good, but on repeated listens they just get kind of dull, mostly due to uninspired choruses. "Masters Of The Sea" is better, and a genuine epic at around 10 minutes in length – a first for this band – but it isn't as good as it should be. The title cut is pure Paragon slayage all the way through, with a simple chorus, but one that gets your head flailing. The rest of the album is just kind of blah. Not bad, and not really boring exactly, but where are the killer, catchy choruses that never get out of your skull? I can hardly tell these songs apart. Listen to this, and then go back to "Law Of The Blade", and it's plain there is no comparison. I do make exception for "Empire Of The Lost", which is one of the five or six best songs the band has ever written. This is what I am talking about – slow or fast, Paragon are capable of writing songs you never forget, but on this album they largely didn't. "Empire Of The Lost" fucking rules though. The album rounds out with a fun, furious cover of Manowar's "The Gods Made Heavy Metal", which is so catchy it serves to point up how unmemorable most of the rest of this album is.
I have to say I'm disappointed with this album, as it is a clear step down from "Law Of The Blade" and "The Dark Legacy". I hate to say it, because I love this band, but "Revenge" is not their best work. I do applaud the broader sound of this album, and I think the band's branching out into both slower and more epic works can only bode well for the future, but on this CD I don't think they quite got what they were aiming at. Still, the fact that this is a Paragon album means it smokes 90% of everything else out there, it's just that "Revenge" does not do well in comparison to this band's other works.
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Interview with Jan Bünning (bass) on August 27, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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