"Force of Destruction"

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you drink a shot of liquor every time a cliche or borrowed riff comes up on "Force of Destruction", you won't be able to walk for a week. In fact, if you die from alcohol consumption and are cremated, they won't be able to extinguish your remains for several days. I love old school 80's style heavy metal more than most...I lived through the glory years...but after a certain point, you ask for more than just nostalgia from a band and Paragon is just not able to deliver.

At first, I confused these guys with fellow German power metallers Paradox. I'm sure I'm not the first to do that. But Paradox has a more distinct sound, with bluesy vocals and a kind of "thrash n' roll" feel. Paragon is just digging up every German heavy metal cliche and regurgitating it. A pinch of Running Wild here, a dash of Gravedigger there...a little Gamma Ray, a little Accept. The album is heavy enough and if you're good and drunk, it's a good time, but I don't review albums while I'm smashed, as much as I often wish otherwise. Every riff here has been done before...and I mean, EVERY riff. Catch the greybearded hooks that start off "Blood and Iron", "Rising From the Black" and "Gods of Thunder" many times have we heard those? A little bit of a twist or an exceptional vocal performance would boost things, but the frontman sounds like he was born to be the ultra-typical German metal singer. That gets proven on the absolutely AWFUL ballad "Demon's Lair", which sounds like Gravedigger on their worst day.

I don't want to totally eviscerate Paragon because "Force of Destruction" is pure metal, but compare this to what a band like Accept has done on their recent "Stalingrad"...taken a classic sound and reinvigorated it to the point where it sounds fresh and relevant. This album is for those dudes whose collection starts with Faithful Breath and ends with Cutty Sark.