|Review: Paragon - Law of the Blade|
|Law of the Blade|
Label: Remedy Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 11, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Law of the Blade
Rated 4.3/5 (86%) (20 Votes)
If you like your metal with lots of keyboards and classically-inspired speed-metal guitarwork – this is NOT the album for you. PARAGON (you have to put it all in caps like that, trust me) play metal so old-school it hurts. There are similarities here to Grave Digger, Manilla Road, Omen, and even old Mercyful Fate. The common denominator here is METAL, or make that METAL!!! These guys do their metal the old fashioned way, with steel smoldering riffs, shout-along choruses, and solos that will peel the paint off your car.
From the opening volley of "Abducted" this sucker never lets up. On any other album, and opener like this would be a high point of the CD and it would be all downhill from there, but that’s just a warm-up. It’s when "Palace of Sin" cranks up its cascading riff-o-rama that your head will start to bang and your fists to clench and pump. Warning: one listen to this and you’ll be singing it for a week. "Armies of the Tyrant" slows down a little but keeps up the head-banging stomp attack, with another chorus that will never come out of your skull. "Law of the Blade" is the fastest track on the CD; blistering speed, awesome playing, yet another chorus that you’ll be shouting along with while you snarl and mosh – what more could you want? A lot of heavy bands can’t get away with slow songs or pseudo ballads (Grave Digger anyone?) without sounding stupid, but PARAGON pull off their slower cuts "Across the Wasteland" and "The Journey’s End" with class and style. Singer Andreas Babuschkin has a rough, powerful voice, like a smoother Udo, with a hell of an upper range when the song calls for it. There really isn’t a clinker on this whole album, every song just fucking rocks, and the production is first rate. If you have the digipack edition you even get a nice bonus track – a cover of Saxon’s "To Hell and Back Again" executed with the fit and fury you can expect from PARAGON.
I have the digipack, and it’s a very nice package, with cool monochrome steely artwork of some undead or alien thing in this badass Viking-style helmet flanked by drawn swords. Inside are amusingly photoshopped band pics and lyrics. The album appears to actually be a kind of concept record, telling a story of a guy abducted by aliens and apparently sold to some intergalactic Despot (The ‘Tyrant’ as in ‘Armies of the’). Our hero becomes a gladiator in the arena, escapes, and eventually leads a revolt and overthrows the Empire. A very pulp idea, and very cool. The interior art of the half-naked amazon chick is pretty cool too.
A lot of times you’ll read reviews telling you something is totally cool when its really just OK, this is not one of those. "Law of the Blade" rules, and every metalhead who can get his hands on it will be happy, I promise. Every copy of this should be stamped "100% METAL". Remember: "KILL OR BE KILLED! THE LAW OF THE BLADE!"
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