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We had to wait 8 long years to receive Electrify from the awesome German thrashers Paradox, but they have shown us mercy, and delivered their 5th album Riot Squad one year later. It basically picks up where its predecessor left off, with 10 new tracks of the band's energetic, 'electrified' progressive thrash metal that will have you banging your head and shouting YESSSSS to the heavens. The aging Germans have not lost their touch, and though the album is not precisely as memorable as Electrify, it's goddamned close (I'll score it the same), and heavier, another positive charge to their discography.
Prepare your neck for immediate stimulation as "Suburban Riot Squad" comes into focus with the band's gleaming, unique melodies and then a punchy thrasher which should have any non-poseur reaching for his kevlar, helmet, taser and billy club. "Hollow Peace" offers no respite, it's like having a few brief seconds in between hammerblows to your jaw, with anthemic melodies intertwined in its chugging bottom end. Kind of a modern Flotsam & Jetsam feel to it. "Riptide" rocks out even harder than the previous tracks, with an unforgettable acrobatic thrash rhythm conjuring all the better spinal tapping thrash metal of the 80s. "Rise in Rank" opens in a wall of crazy melody before it once again dives into 100% urban combat. Close your eyes and dream of a dystopian future in which you find yourself the last line of defense between the tax paying privileged and the anarcho streetpunks armed with their latest cybertech warfare.
If Robocop were a thrash metal album, this might just be it!
"Evolution Rest" creates instant anxiety with its spikes of neurotic melody and grooving violence. "Nothingness" is pensive and laid back, but there is a tension behind it which seems to warn of the oncoming onslaught of "No Place to Survive", which just kicked my ass clear across the cityscape. "Dream Hero" and "Planet Terror" offer two more warnings of the twisted society to come, and "Psychofficial" closes out the album with unnverving, battering brutality, one of the heaviest tracks this band has ever delivered.
Riot Squad sounds suitably confrontational and acidic. Charly Steinhauer's vocals remain just as memorable as the first time you ever spun Product of Imagination or Heresy, and the band are at their technical prime, though never indulgent beyond the framework of their tight, punctual riffing. This is real mother fucking thrash metal, which looks backward only to smile and nod at its rich past, then turns about face and marches into the future, where it can still kick ass. Paradox exclaims boldly to all the would-be, retrograde nostalgic upstarts: thrash metal is not a relic, it is not over, it has only begun.