PARADOX - Riot Squad

Paradox - Riot Squad

10 songs
48:48 minutes
***** ****


The name Paradox awakens youthful memories in me. In the second half of the Eighties, Product Of Imagination and Heresy were two speed metal albums that became milestones of the genre. The musicians had hairstyles (I will never forget the curly-head with moustache) that were totally cult. They were also one of the first bands that dared to play a cover version of Testament’s Over The Wall, back then already a metal classic.

There are two longer breaks in the band’s history, making Riot Squad only their fifth studio album in a quarter century of existence. At times you get the impression that time stood still for Paradox, which in this particular case is a welcome thing. The musicians play a sequence full of contrast of complex riffs, which we used to label techno thrash, and still works great today. Of course they present themselves in a slightly more modern attire than two decades ago, and also come with a more adequate production, but the retro flair is omnipresent. I especially like Rise In Rank where the guitars duel splendidly, and Evolution Reset which reminds not only a little of Mekong Delta. Similar hectic patterns can be heard on Planet Terror and Psychofficial, proving that Paradox haven’t forgotten their profession. There is also a melodic component, as on Hollow Peace with its old school US metal edge. Only Nothingness which comes too close to melodic power metal feels a little awkward. The cover artwork has a lazy appearance, making you wish the band had invested more time in layout decisions.

Apart from that, Paradox excel throughout. Riot Squad is a really strong album that should be a paradise for every nostalgic metal fan. This band has matured gracefully and is still far from ending up on the scrap heap.

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