There has been an avalanche of really cool releases in the last month…the first new POSSESSED in more than 30 years, the latest from SUNN 0))), new ARCH/MATHEOS, many interesting works from lesser known bands. Well, this might just be the best out of all of them. Never have I heard such a perfect sequel to a classic almost 30 years old.
The Key by NOCTURNUS (no A.D. back then) was released in 1990 and really changed the death metal paradigm. It was the first work that showed synthesizers and keyboards could be integrated into extreme death metal successfully. The album created an eerie sci-fi atmosphere that has stood the test of time.
In 2019, we now have Paradox and everything that The Key had, this record also has, only with a superior sound. It may even be better…I’m still wavering on that. Mike Browning, the mastermind of NOCTURNUS, has assembled a work of genius here. The synths are once again blended beautifully with twisting, aggressive death metal riffs.
The sound here is old school yet timeless, seeming to belong to past, present and future simultaneously. As for the storyline, it follows the ghastly path of the time traveling Dr. Magus, welded into a living biosuit, as he searches the timelines for occult wisdom.
The album is so strong that no one track seems to stand out…all are equally worthy. Some such as ‘The Bandar Sign’ give the synths a little more room. Others like ‘Paleolithic’ focus more on the brutality of the guitars. Some tracks like ‘The Return of the Lost Key’ are an excellent merging of all instruments. Speaking of which, the guitar work and drumming is outstanding and the bass is provided by none other than former OBITUARY man Daniel Tucker!
It’s like Paradox could have come out in 1992, not 2019. A triumph of progressive death metal and right now my favorite release of the year. Even POSSESSED’s comeback was not as perfect as this!
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
5.5 / 6