|Review: Paragon - Force of Destruction|
|Force of Destruction|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: November 9, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Force of Destruction
Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (30 Votes)
Paragon have been stuck in a rut for some time now. At the beginning of the century they had an incredible run of albums, producing the classic albums Steelbound, Law of the Blade, and The Dark Legacy in one unbelievable 27-month period, laying down a holy grail of awesomeness they were left chasing after for the next nine years. Subsequent albums were all a bit more generic, and just lacked the fire and energy that marked this band's high points, culminating in the not-awful-but-not-good Screenslaves, with a fucking Backstreet Boys cover marking the band's absolute low point.
What seems to have been the problem was that band founder and guitarist Martin Christian was no longer really excited about playing metal, and for whatever reason had lost his motivation - it happens. So he departed and mainstay and bass player Jan Bunning rejoined the fold to help write songs, recruit new members, and bring Paragon back to fucking life. Behold his work - Force of Destruction - the band's best work in a decade and a commanding return to form.
Far from the listless riffage of the past few discs, this album explodes with fury and fire like this band's glory days at the dawn of the 21st Century. Songs like "Iron Will", "Gods of Thunder", and "Blades of Hell" show off what this band is good at: ripping, chugging, pummeling Heavy Metal that hits like a nail-spiked iron fist. The production is so much better than the poor job on Screenslaves that it's like a revelation - a call back to their finest recording work on Law of the Blade and Dark Legacy. The guitars sound huge, the mix is sharp and clean, and every instrument gets the space needed to do its best work.
Not every song here is complete gold. "Tornado" is a bit silly, and "Bulletstorm" doesn't really grab me. Paragon do up a number of slower songs on here, with the slow-pounding of "Blood & Iron" and the epic "Dynasty" the best. "Demon's Lair" drags a bit to my ears, and closer "Secrecy" has fucking amazing riffage but second-rate vocal lines. The sad part here is that even the weaker songs smoke anything off Screenslaves, and even at less than full power Paragon smash lesser bands to pulp. Even if it's not a perfect album, Force of Destruction is every inch the comeback I hoped for and so much more than I expected. Do. Not. Miss. It.
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Interview with Jan Bünning (bass) on August 27, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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