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Paragon - Hell Beyond Hell

Label: Remedy Records
Format: CD Download
Released: 2016
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


Eleventh album from German outfit, this one produced by Iron Savior mastermind Piet Sielck and heralding the return of guitarist Martin Christian, absent since 2010. Classic meat & potatoes Teutonic metal, from the Accept meets Grave Digger school: predominately fast guitars, no frills heavy music, with clean, albeit nasal, high pitched vocals. However, the staccato title track feels like an OverKill outtake, apart from the gang chorus. Disc opens impressively, 'Rising Forces' screaming from the word go, impact of speedy guitar interplay to the fore. Elsewhere, there's the acoustic strumming intro to an otherwise mid-paced 'Heart Of Black'.

 

By contrast, there's the whining guitars (appropriately sounding like a siren) warning that 'Stand Your Ground' is on the launching pad. Cue blast off! Loads of guitar playing, not just riffs/effects (remember the days when you had to have talent to be a guitarist?) on the speedy 'Meat Train'. 'Devil's Waiting Room' is as close as it gets to a (power) ballad, albeit still with plenty of six-string evident, ultimately fading out to the crisp beat of military cadence snare, music box and distant tolling bell. Digipak tacks on a pair of extras: the Accept inspired 'Thunder In the Dark', where revving motorcycles compete with guitars, and an alternate edit for the aforementioned 'Heart Of The Black'. Maybe it's about time people check out German metallers with a more than two decade strong career. You think?

 
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