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Review: Paradox - Pangea

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 59:24
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: June 13, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
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Rated 4.27/5 (85.45%) (22 Votes)

Pangea follows the highly entertaining Tales of the Weird as the seventh full-length album by Paradox, continuing the pattern of its predecessor with crunchy Bay-area style riffing, catchy and melodic bits and badass attitude. Greek youngsters Kostas Milonas (Sunburst) on drums and especially Gus Drax (Sunburst, Suicidal Angels, Black Fate) on guitars injected a much welcome dose of technicality and energy into the album, making most of the songs nothing short of spectacular. Opener "Apophis" slowly builds into a fast-paced monster with frantic and aggressive vocal lines and a more melodic, though characteristic, chorus; this is a great example of a classic Paradox tune. "Raptor" has a nice intro and is played in mid-tempo with really crunchy riffs and a great virtuous solo by Drax, proving that Steinhauer hit the jackpot recruiting the Greek, who is quickly turning into a sensation in the metal community. In fact, all the solos featured in the album are spot on and each offer a different atmosphere, giving meaning to every note played, which is rare these days in the Thrash genre, sadly.

"The Raging Planet" mixes things up a bit with a high-pitched vocal line by Steinhauer and a slower, more prolific solo. "Ballot or Bullet" comes next and offers a rather strange approach, despite being constructed as a classic Thrash metal tune. Fast drumming and up-tempo passages fill the song, making it aggressive and visceral. "Manhunt" is yet another good example of what makes Paradox so unique: a melodic and almost sad intro paves the way to something bigger and fierce: Double-pedal drumming and heavier riffs, allied to the great production work applied to make the bass really loud elevate the track as one of the best in the album. Standing at 7:32 minutes long, it's also the lengthiest tune here. "Cheat & Pretend" slows things up a bit and the band adopt heavy and toned-down guitars to deliver more power to the track. In some parts it even reminds me of one of the slower, rhythm-driven Megadeth songs. "Pangea" and "Vale of Tears" are each special in their own way and keep the high quality of the album, and while the former tells the story of the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras and is a perfect example of this new era for Paradox – similarly constructed to tunes seen in Riot Squad and Electrify – the latter offers different styles and transitions between calmer and more aggressive bits, with a great atmosphere. Despite being another lengthy song at 7:43 minutes, was carefully constructed and never makes the listener bored or tired. My favorite of the bunch, "Alien Godz", takes things to the next level with brutal riffs and even more aggressive lines, and "El Muerte" ends the album on a high note.

Paradox is a synonym for consistency, and with Pangea the band soars even higher than before. The addition of a musical beast in Gus Drax, and the very good Tilen Hudrap (Vicious Rumors, Keller, Thraw) and Kostas Milonas proved to be great choices to complement the crafty and intelligent Charly Steinhauer, and it resulted in a monster of an album.

More about Paradox...
Review: Collision Course (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Collision Course (reviewed by Daniel DGYDP Guerrero)
Review: Electrify (reviewed by Daniel DGYDP Guerrero)
Review: Heresy (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Heresy II: End of a Legend (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Riot Squad (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Riot Squad (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Tales of the Weird (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with Charly Steinhauer (guitars and vocals) on October 13, 2009 (Interviewed by Daniel DGYDP Guerrero)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Charly Steinhauer on October 25, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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)
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