For my money this is the best PARAGON CD, with production and songwriting head and shoulders above "Steelbound" and catchier songs than the following "The Dark Legacy". I had never heard PARAGON before this album, so imagine my surprise when the opening riffs of "Palace Of Sin" came blistering out of my speakers. How had this been going on and I had missed it?
Anyone who is unfamiliar with PARAGON, beware. This CD is a True Metal feast packed with such fiendishly catchy songs it should come with a warning label. Something like "WARNING! MAY CAUSE FATAL HEADBANGING!" From the opening volley of "Abducted" to the cascading riffs and fist-pumping chorus of "Palace Of Sin" this sucker cranks right up and never quits. "Armies Of The Tyrant" slows things down a little with it's ass-walloping stomp, but then the title cut come screaming out at light speed and mark my words, you will be shouting along "Kill or be killed! The law of the blade!" Even the slower, more ballad-ey numbers here are carried off with muscle and snarl to spare, never getting wussy in the slightest. The production, courtesy of Piet Sielck (of IRON SAVIOR fame) is thick and crisp, with a wonderful steely guitar tone. Andreas Babuschkin has a perfect voice for this kind of music: he can hit the highs when he has to, but his voice is rough and angry, with enough balls to carry the sort of powerful vocal lines on display here. The whole thing wraps up with a cover of the old SAXON standby "To Hell And Back Again", performed with the furious glee one expects from these guys.
PARAGON rule and everything they do is just fucking cool. I think this is their most memorable and catchy CD to date, but anything they record is better than 99% of the crap out there anyway. I have had this for a year and I still listen to it pretty much weekly. How many CDs can you say that about? Bottom line: if it says PARAGON on the label, you can be sure it kicks high-octane ass. (Online October 24, 2003)