Paradox – ‘Riot Squad’ (AFM Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Whistance   
Monday, 05 October 2009 06:56


PARADOX_-_Riot_Squad_artworkWhen I think of the title 'Riot Squad' it conjures up images of British Punk, UK Subs, The Exploited, The Partisans.  Hanging around piss soaked bus shelters, snorting cheap speed and sniffing glue. "And what is wrong with that", I hear you cry?


This is in fact German Thrashers Paradox brand new album, a band with a turbulent history spanning nearly three decades.

Which includes a ten-year hiatus, a reformation that nearly ended prematurely whilst frontman Charly Steinhauer battled a life threatening illness.


As the saying goes what doesn't kill you, sure makes you stronger.


When I was first handed the album to review and read the words 'Thrash Band', I felt like a fraudster, "what does he know about Thrash?" I could almost hear them cry. Apart from the major league players my knowledge of thrash music is extremely limited, should I run to the hills with my hands held high whilst declaring my love for all things glam, I wondered to myself. As I placed the CD in the player, and the savage assault is liberated from the speakers, I quickly realised, when music is this good, who gives a shit about labels?


Opening track 'Suburban Riot Squad' does everything it says on the box, breaking down the door, rampaging through your mind, destroying everything in its wake before rudely exiting leaving you to clear up the carnage. 'Hollow Piece' and 'Evolution Reset' are perfect slabs of eighties style thrash, that even caused this mild mannered reviewer to raise his horns and windmill like a motherfucker.


Have you ever woken up with broken limbs, sore ribs and bludgeoned features whilst you find yourself pissing blood? Then you have spent a raucous evening in the company of the 'Dream Hero.' Forget thrash for a moment as we delve into good old fashioned old school metal, Paradox style, with the incredible 'Nothingness', that features an infectious chorus that I challenge anyone not to be singing along to by the end proving that Paradox have more than one string to their bow.


Fancy inviting 'Spreading The Disease' era Anthrax along with 'Kill Em All' era Metallica for a jam session, bring along Motorhead to the party and you have 'Riptide', a glorious four-minute masterclass in Thrash domination. 'No Place To Survive' should be renamed 'No Place To Hide' as the breakneck drumming assault of Roland Jahoda pummels the listener into submission leaving no stone unturned. Meanwhile, the chorus running through the phenomenal 'Rise In Rank' would not look out of place among any Glen Danzig era Misfits repertoire.


Riot Squad closes with two of the most ferocious numbers from the album 'Plane Terror' and 'Physcofficial' featuring some of the finest shredding known to man, along with the most furious double bass drumming not heard this side of Downtown San Francisco. 'Planeterror' also featuring a distinctive police siren blaring running through it, and when a band has caused this much wanton destruction to the ear holes then its time to send in the cavalry.


'Riot Squad' is a ferocious beast of an album, made by men old enough to know better, and would sit comfortably amongst the new young breed of Thrashers such as Warpath, Evile and Gamma Bomb.


The question is, do I think Paradox should have been bigger?  Undeniably yes. Would I want them to be bigger?  Possibly not.


Paradox have overcome many obstacles in their path to produce a fresh brutal musical tour de force, displaying a fire still burning strong in their bellies, a fire that has long since been diminished by their peers with Champagne excess and Reality TV indulgence.