PARADOX – Ruler (1987) [first time on CD digitally remastered 2020]

PARADOX - Ruler (1987) [first time on CD digitally remastered 2020] full

Sporting long hair, mascara and spandex like the rest of the late ‘80s metal scene, PARADOX mixed the power of the classic US metal sound with the melodic glam sensibilities of Stryper, early Queensryche or even Kiss. The riffs pulsate with a musical muscle workout while the giant hooks grab the listener by the throat and almost force them to sing along.
One of the most highly regarded bands from the 80s metal scene to never be signed to a label, Texans PARADOX recorded and released by themselves this 1987 debut titled “Ruler“, a cult album now reissued, remastered on CD for the first time.

Music critics might argue as to what city should be labeled “the metal-rock capitol of the world.” Hollywood, London, New York, San Francisco, Tampa. The debate goes on. If you ask touring metal bands, though, there is a consensus that this title should belong to none other than San Antonio, Texas.
Citizens of this Central Texas city love their classic metal and especially their fist-pumping, screaming and yelling loud hard rock concerts.

This is the city where Paradox was born. In 1987, they burst upon the scene with this 8-song album-on-cassette called ”Ruler”. It introduced the metal world to the shredding, soloing and controlled feedback of lead guitarist Fernando Hernandez. He was backed by rhythm guitarist and heart of the band, John Vidaurri, who was also the busiest member. He and his wife, Liz, would book the gigs, procure the fashion, the makeup and all that went with making a band look metal. Liz was the official band photographer, and she also would help with their hair and choreograph their onstage moves.

Brothers Galicia provided the backbone of the rhythm section. Bassist Phil Galicia III added great background vocals, played some keyboards and even handled the artwork for the band. His little brother, Efrain, played drums like a madman, swirled his hair around like Tommy Lee, and was still in high school during this exciting time for the band.
Manuel Castillo was the band’s frontman, hosting rehearsals in his garage, and, in an unusual move for a metal band, he would whip out the flute for a prog-metal number during their concerts.

“Ruler” reveals in Paradox a group musically mature beyond its years in presenting with eight equally goods songs of high energy, technical metal that walks a fine line between that of the melodic and grooving.
”Ruler” might not bring the type of big budget polish afforded label based releases but sounds fine for a self-financed work recorded using mid-Eighties technology. A good measure of this attributes to the Retroactive remastering which allows for a crisp and clean sound in filtering out any potentially muddiness that can hold back independent recordings from the time.
Highly Recommended


01 – Long Live the King
02 – Singing All Night
03 – We Are the Temple
04 – Ruler
05 – Last Race
06 – Can’t You See
07 – Stand up for Jesus
08 – You Must Be Saved

Manuel Castillo – Lead Vocals
Fernando Hernandez – Lead Guitar
John Vidaurri – Rhythm Guitar
Phil Galicia III – Bass & Keyboards
Efrain Galicia – Drums



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