The long-awaited albbum from legendary New Wave of British Heavy Metalsters, Paralex. 30 years in the making, and worth the wait! Paralex bubbled just under the big time during the NWOBHM scene not realising their potential with just one crappily-produced 12" EP which was released in 1980 by Reddingtons Rare Records (if you've got a copy of this, it's currently fetching abot £70 on ebay).
For some reason they never got another deal, faded into obscurity and finally split in, I think, 1986. Their web site (...) says the band reformed virtually in 2013 to re-record most of their back catalogue as a thank-you to the fans that had been calling for old demos to be released. Considering these tracks have been recorded on home-studios on virtually zero budget, they haven't done a shabby job!
The CD (LP version to be released soon apparently) contains all avaiable tracks, plus a 'bonus' DVD the video for which was recorded in 1981. The CD opens with the 3 tracks from the afore-mentioned 1980 EP. These are good songs, but really badly recorded and sound very dated. Why they weren't put at the end of the track listing as bonus tracks I don't know. The next three tracks are the modern re-works of the same songs and hell yeah! What a difference. These guys can kick ass!
Travelling Man starts with a slow grinding dirty guitar riff which goes into the main song full tilt. Production is top-notch considering this has been recorded on domestic PCs (as stated on their web site, if this is true). Double-bass drums and blistering guitar solos make this short song a classic. Up next, White Lightning, a bog standard bikers anthem by comparison, but rocks nevertheless. Black Widow next with a great riff and brilliant bluesy/metal fusion section at the end. I'm loving this already!
The thing I love about this album is that all the tracks are different. It is not formulaic like, say, an Iron Maiden, Saxon or AC/DC disc. Standout tracks for me are Lionheart, penned by ex Paralex member Kevin Bower (now playing in the mighty Hell), Masters of the Skies and the closing track, We Are not the First which is a slab of metal riffdom with soaring guitar harmonies, off-beats, fantastic solos and stirling drum-work.
There are already rumours of a follow-up album featuring some new Paralex material and I for one can't wait! I can thoroughly reccommend this album to any fan of good heavy metal music. Definitely a classic.