Paradox

Product of Imagination

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AllMusic Review by

Paradox staked their claim as one of Germany's most accomplished, melodic speed metal bands with this 1987 debut, which branded them first and foremost a guitar band. This may sound rather obvious when discussing a heavy metal band, but really does merit special mention given the jaw-dropping technique displayed by the six-string tandem of Charly Steinhauer and Markus Spyth -- both on the lead and rhythm fronts. Not that bassist Roland Stahl and drummer Axel Blaha had any trouble keeping up, mind you, and it's truly an incredibly cohesive and taut unit that rips through Testament-type mega-thrashers such as "Paradox," the amusingly named "Death, Screaming and Pain," and the especially frenzied compilation track that earned them their deal with Roadrunner in the first place, "Pray to the Godz of Wrath." Also worth mentioning is the extended, seven-minute title track, which builds gradually from a relatively generic acoustic intro towards climatic and anthemic dual harmonies before unleashing its central thrashing section; but like many other songs here (e.g. "Mystery," "Kill That Beast," "Beyond Space," with its clumsy gang choruses), it suffers from wild inconsistencies of tone, dynamics, and quality. Along with a set of song intros, outros and stand-alone guitar solos (see "Continuation of Invasion"), these compositional issues suggested that maybe Paradox weren't quite ready to record, but rather were hurriedly cobbling songs together throughout the album's sessions. Nevertheless, metal heads in their homeland were pleased enough with Product of Imagination to vote Paradox their third favorite band in the polls run by German editions of Rock Hard and Metal Hammer magazines, behind only the legendary Scorpions and Accept. If only they'd realized that the best was yet to come for Paradox.

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