Reliable as Haley's comet, Germany's PARAGON have returned with another shot of their rip-roaring, ear-bleeding, ass-whomping Metal. Album number six for these guys, who seem to have distilled true metal down to its heavy, ball-kicking essence. For those of you unfortunate enough not to be familiar with PARAGON, be assured that no more furious True Metal act exists on the face of the earth. From the first steel-smoking riff of "The Legacy" to the last head-hammering chorus of "Into The Black" there is not a clinker or a weak track to be found. PARAGON are not trendy, they don't play keyboardy neoclassical happy-flower Metal, and they don't play slow. What you get from these guys is straight-ahead Heavy Metal with so much chunk it seems like the disc should weigh more than other, lesser CDs.
Fans of PARAGON should know by now that these guys will never change, and we can all thank the Metal gods for that. Song after song they demonstrate exactly what Metal should be: thick, molten guitar riffs, a furious double-bass assault, and powerful wailing vocals armed with some monstrously catchy choruses. Witness the almighty riffs of "Mirror Of Fate" and "Maze Of Dread", or the car-wrecking punch of album highlight "Eye Of The Storm" - this is how Metal is supposed to be. The only thing I have to mark down for is that this is very similar to last year's "Law Of The Blade". Some of the riffs and choruses so strongly recall that album that I can't ignore it, and I have to ding this album for a certain lack of freshness. But as far as kicking ass is concerned, PARAGON deliver the goods as few bands ever have.
Remedy Records have finally seen fit to produce a real DigiPak, as opposed to the all-cardboard abominations PARAGON albums have had in the past. I would so much prefer a real jewel case. I have gotten to the point where I fantasize about having a PARAGON CD in a jewel case. Maybe someday, but until then I will have to make do. Fortunately, the music enclosed is so cool I would buy this album if it came wrapped in a dead squirrel.
So PARAGON strike again with another merciless metal album that will send the candyland Metallers squealing for cover. Nobody does it like these guys, and this is not an album that any Metalhead should be without. In fact, the whole PARAGON catalogue should be required. Get this, you won't be sorry. (Online October 5, 2003)