|Classic Review: Paradox - Heresy|
Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1989
Genre: Thrash Metal
Review online: October 13, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.07/5 (81.31%) (61 Votes)
Some people have the idea that I don't like Thrash, but that is not true at all, I just was never a fan of the accepted "big four" of the heyday – Slayer was the only one I really liked – and my tastes ran to more obscure, high-quality bands and harder to find, but immeasurably deadlier releases, like this one. Paradox only ever released three discs, and this was their best one, no question about it. Heresy is a lethal dose of precise, high-speed Thrash.
Back in the day, Germans were the best Thrashers. Not the most widely known, but far, far better than tripe like Megadeth or Anthrax. Paradox is what you get at the cleanest, sharpest, most melodic end of the Thrash pool. Oh, and what else? Oh yeah the fastest. Heresy starts off with a gentle acoustic intro, which slowly mutates into a pounding, marching riff, which changes into another, faster riff, and then a faster one, and faster, and faster, until from the quiet opening the title cut is careening along at Warp Factor 99. Pretty much all the songs here are fast, but they all have a lot of time changes to keep things from just becoming a blur. The guitar tone is just awesome – a razor-keen, crispy, crunchy sound that lets you hear each and every catchy hook and riff. And there are a LOT of riffs, Paradox cram like 47 riffs into every song, like they just have too many – "Here! Have some more riffs! Oh, here's another one! Take this one too!" And they are all really, really good riffs too, riffs I have remembered for something like 15 years since I had the cassette of this album cemented in my walkman for like 3 months. The vocals are more melodic than thrashy, while still retaining a good level of aggression. Charly Steinhauer doesn't have the strongest voice, and they had to overdub his vocals a lot so they'd stand up to the music, but it works. The choruses are catchy as hell, and you will be headbanging and shouting along with killers like "Search For Perfection" and "Crusader's Revenge" before the album is over, mark me. Some songs are not as strong, like "Massacre Of The Cathars", but they are still really good. The concept of the album relates to the Albigensian Crusade in the 12th century, an illustrative example of the Catholic Church's willingness to use force to extend its spiritual authority – also the first time a Crusade had been called against fellow Europeans, marking the degeneration of the Crusading ideal into a mere instrument of Papal policy.
This is an overlooked Thrash gem from the old days, and any speed/thrash fan should have it in their collection. Shredding guitars and catchy songs make this one a real lost classic. Get it.
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Interview with Charly Steinhauer (guitars and vocals) on October 13, 2009 (Interviewed by Daniel DGYDP Guerrero)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Charly Steinhauer on November 13, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Charly Steinhauer on August 19, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Charly Steinhauer on October 25, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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