Paragon - Forgotten prophecies 3/5

Reviewed: 1-11-08





Tracklist:

1. Hammer of the gods
2. Arise
3. Face of death
4. Halls of doom
5. Revelations
6. Forgotten prophecies
7. Agony
8. Souleaters
9. Gangland
10. Wargods
11. Deny the cross


Paragon, Germany’s own riff masters, have returned to bring us their 8th studio release, called 'Forgotten prophecies'. It’s another huge slab of riff-driven heavy metal, the only way Paragon do things. For fans of American 80s heavy metal, or even those who like the odd thrash tune, then 'Forgotten prophecies' is right for you.

Paragon’s sound is quite different from their German power metal counterparts. Really putting everything into their riffs, solos and melodies; everything else is just in its simplistic form. While Paragon go to town on this CD in the riff department and with the solos, which I must admit kicks bloody ass, everything else hasn’t been given the same treatment, and unfortunately it sticks out.

The choruses, much like with American or European heavy metal 80’s bands, are quite simple and ineffective. It’s rather strange for a band to put everything into their riffs and the structure, etc; but when it comes to the chorus, where it’s one of the most remembered parts of a song, they really don’t bother with it and I feel that it is uninspiring and brings the song down. Riffs only last in your mind for a short time, while choruses tend to be remembered more. Therefore, I really feel that Paragon are denying themselves where every song, basically, has a crappy chorus.

I've also found there to be a slight lack of bass guitar on the CD. Obviously, the twin guitar blast will be most prominent, but there are quite a few songs on the release where I find it hard to hear/feel the bass. The vocalist too, has me asking questions. Andreas Babuschkin is certainly not the best vocalist in the world and although I do enjoy his somber but also rather gruff vocal delivery, I feel that he sounds inconsistent at times. Perhaps it is from the production, but sometimes his voice becomes hard to hear and understand through the never-ending riffing from the guitarists. To me, Andreas Babuschkin in his normal somber sound; reminds me of a cross between Iron Savior’s Piet Sielck and Gamma Ray’s Kai Hansen. But in his gruff mode, which I do prefer, he sounds very similar to both Grave Digger’s Chris Boltendahl and Dragonheart’s André Mendes.

With all that being said, the songs on ‘Forgotten prophecy’ are still fairly decent, despite a real letdown in the chorus department. There are no real standouts here, but some of the songs on this release do sound a little repetitive. Aside from all that, I really do enjoy “Souleaters” and find it to be the best track on the CD. It’s probably the most melodic track on the CD and also isn't as riff orientated as the rest of the tracks. A find a massive similarity to Primal Fear on this track and the chorus (finally) is pretty good. Topped off with a decent solo, “Souleaters” is an awesome track.

Other songs on ‘Forgotten prophecies’ which are worth mentioning, are “Hammer of the gods” and “Arise”. Both have outstanding riffs and solos, but their choruses leave a lot to be desired.

In all, those who enjoy this type of 80s heavy metal with some thrash influences, and with a modern touch sprinkled through it, will find something with ‘Forgotten prophecies’, especially with the huge amount of riffs and solos. But if you want the complete package, which includes a kick-ass chorus among other things, then you may not be as satisfied. I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind.



SEAN




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