Hailing from Brazil, a perennial hotbed for heavy metal and hard rock, comes upstart band Paradise Inc., with their debut disc Time on the Avenue of Allies label. The album features some heavyweights, most notably veteran, sometimes journeyman, vocalist Carsten 'Lizard' Schulz (Evidence One, Midnite Club, ex-Domain). Paul Logue (Edenís Curse, David Readman) mixed the album and co-produced with the band, while the mastering was handled by another talented veteran, Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, House Of Lords, Krokus, Khymera).
Quickly you will notice several things about Paradise Inc. First they easily blur the line between melodic hard rock and its milder AOR cousin. The title track, by example is the former, ripping classic hard rock. Then Who's Foolin Who and I Will Wait offer that smooth arena AOR quality. Both could also be confused for heavier rock ballads. In contrast, Wait and See returns to the hard rock, even with a slight metal edge.
Above right: Paradise Inc. wondering when the movie will start.)
The second element you notice is, quite simply, Paradise Inc.'s profound grasp of their chosen genre. Every song is well composed, with good flow, hooks in both arrangement and lyrics, and strong contributions from every player. Notable, is the fine and expressive bass work of Rick A., especially on close Your Eyes and Steel or Stone.
Conversely, however, the third element is the strong presence of De Grigo's fret work. His presence is enormous throughout, and he's a fine player. Between Schulz at the mic and Grigo on lead guitar, it's a real battle for preeminence here.
Now the only thing would be to highlight some songs. All are quite good, with praise for Who's Foolin Who, No More Mistakes, and Not in Paradise, featuring Doogie White (Rainbow, Cornerstone, Yngwie Malmsteen) on lead. Later you get an acoustic version of Steel or Stone with some fine female bgvs. My only quibble with the album would be some of Alessandro Del Vecchio's (Edge Of Forever, Eden's Curse, Lionville, et al) keyboards. Where piano leads, as on I Will Wait and No More Mistakes, his contribution is fine. But then there's some weird twiddling on Wait and See that seems a mere afterthought.
Nevertheless, Paradise Inc.'s Time rings true for melodic hard rock and entertains with impressive results. Very recommended.
Paradise Inc.'s debut, Time, rings true for melodic hard rock and entertains with impressive results. Very recommended.
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