Greetings from the drizzle and cold of the Maine coast. It's nice to have some metal to keep me warm. This week we have various types, some of which are metal because of intent rather than sound.
Paradox: Riot Squad
They are German and have existed since the mid-80s, so it’s a bit of shock to find this is only their fifth album. Not exactly prolific, but then again they aren’t sell-outs who have moved with the times. This is golden age of thrash at its finest. None of your “modern metal” malarkey on here. As with a lot of this type of thrash bands, they deliver what they promise in droves.
The twin guitar attack really drives this band and fattens the sound. What they most remind me of is those not that well known openers on 80s/90s thrash tours. The decent band that does the business that you have never heard of before. “Nothingness” is pure Megadeth at their peak, while “Dream Hero” has the qualities of classic Metallica that we all know and love.
Paradox, while hailing from Germany, comes across more of an American thrash band than what you would expect for that part of the world. It may be the bay area style vocals that define the sound. If you enjoy your thrash, then you might want to check this lot out.
Right off the bat, I have to tell you I love this release. It's very much kitchen sink type prog, but they do it oh so well. There is jazz, blues, metal, and everything else tossed in for good measure. It's like a good dungeon crawl in an RPG, you never know what you are going to find around the next corner.
Now some bands try this approach and it sounds like a mess. Then again Haken have an advantage. They are English and for some reason English bands do this chaotic type of prog better than any other country. As a result, while these guys could be considered prog metal, there is a strong sense of Marillion hiding in the back. To be more specific Hogarth ero-Marillion. It's as if they started off with “Uninvited Guest” as a starting point. Of course, it's hard to imagine a progressive metal band who do not hint at Dream Theater. Haken is the half-way part between the heavy-side of Marillion and Dream Theater. That, to me at least, is a good place to be.