Paradox

Heresy

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On their first album, 1987's Product of Imagination, Germany's Paradox came across as a quite competent but inconsistent speed metal band; but on their second, 1989's Heresy, they emerged as world-beating thrashers! In fact, Heresy's only discernible weakness may be its rather obvious inspirational debt to Anthrax's all-time classic Among the Living (in particular on "Search for Perfection" and "Killtime"), but then, New York's finest would probably have killed to follow up their greatest LP with something this good, instead of State of Euphoria. Anyway, Heresy was a full-fledged concept album, to boot, delving into the Albigensian Crusade of the 13th century, which annihilated the followers of an illuminated sect called Catharism in excruciating detail (also memorialized in Iron Maiden's "Montsegur") -- hence such titles as "Crusaders' Revenge" and the Testament-esque "Massacre of the Cathars." Yet none of these tracks sacrifice an ounce of their moshing intensity for the benefit of free history lessons, and for all of the understandable sonic comparisons to Anthrax, Paradox possessed the added advantage of two capable lead guitarists delivering mind-boggling solos, soaring twin harmonies, and Exodus-like rhythmic precision. The very impressive results can be heard on the heroic title cut and pulverizing thrashers like the "The Burning," "Serenity," and "700 Years On" -- all of which help make Heresy one of the underrated gems from the original thrash metal era.

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