Aztec Jade - Paradise Lost

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Adrenaline
Catalog Number: ADR 011
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:37:00

Paradise Lost isn't exactly a new album by US prog-metal combo Aztec Jade. In fact it's their first release for the Italian Adrenaline label, who thought it would be a good idea to release a "new" album consisting of a combination of both previous releases expanded with an unreleased studio bonus track. True, Paradise Lost contains all the tracks from the 1997 album Frame Of Mind, all of the debut album Modern Prophet from 1995 and even "Regatta Fugue Part 1" from the band's demo from 1994!

It's probably not a bad idea for a prog metal label to re-release all previous material this way because for the European market it has never been easy to get hold of certain US material and now by combining both releases you can reach new fans, fans who have gotten to know and like Aztec Jade by means of their contributions on tribute CD's such as Voices - A Dream Theater Tribute and Attack Of The Dragons - A Queen Tribute each time illustrating their versatility.

Paradise Lost thus opens with "Regatta Fugue Part 1," an older theme which still holds all of the Aztec jade trademarks and influences ranging from Rush to Queensryche, from Dream Theater to even Beatles. Throughout the band's music the classical influences of keyboard player Timothy Becker form the backbone for many compositions. Rounding off their unique recipe is the funky bass from Bryan Kowalski and the superb voice of Leon Ozug. Unlike other bands, Leon really sings as opposed to the yelling and screaming by so called vocalists in the prog metal genre. Not only are the compositions well balanced where technical skills are concerned, there's also a strong sense of melody present, lifting the songs to a very professional height. Just listen to "The Calling" and the way the vocal melody twists and turns in your mind. The same happens during the chorus for "Mad Not Crazy." Tim's love for Bach is translated in the use of church organ during the powerful "To Believe." If only the band had the kind of money to record in a real church! Maybe you should have a word with your local pastor, Tim!

Prog metal should not automatically be synonym for very loud guitars as often one of the main aspects is to create a unique atmosphere and this can be created by using acoustic instruments. "Nosferatu" combines both acoustic guitar and harder, distorted guitar sounds in order to create a bombastic result. Medieval elements are present in "Regatta Fugue Part II" which kind of puts Aztec Jade on the same map as Stratovarius and Rhapsody. The surprise effect of this song could have been even higher if the band would have used real bagpipes for instance.

So Paradise Lost contains both Aztec Jade albums to date, augmented with an "older" song plus an unreleased new studio track. Don't know whether at all this song, "Odyssey," will also feature on the upcoming new studio album tentatively called Concrete Eden. One thing's for sure: "Odyssey" once again contains all of the band's trademarks produced by Scott MacPherson, known from his work with Steve Perry, Brian Setzer, Marshall Tucker, Johnny Winter and Muddy Waters to name but a few. The result is a very contemporary sounding song where keyboards and guitar melt together with Leon Ozug's original timbre.

The Aztecs claimed that the world would be destroyed on 13th August 1999. How wrong could they be!

Regatta Fugue Part I (4:02) / The Calling (4:18) / To Believe (5:12) / Mad Not Crazy (4:15) / Desperate Land (2:57) / Nosferatu (4:37) / Atlantis (4:24) / Regatta Fugue Part II (3:24) / Stained (4:19) / Gates Of Babylon (4:14) / Requiem (4:30) / Modern Prophet (4:20) / Dirty Secrets (3:35) / Soul Inside Of Me (5:10) / The Creator (3:14) / Indian Summer (3:35) / Odyssey (6:31)

Bryan Kowalski - bass
Tim Becker - keyboards
Leon Ozug - vocals
Matt Howenstein - guitars
Rick Miller - drums

Aztec Jade (1994)
Modern Prophet (1995)
Primitive Traxx (1997)
Frame Of Mind (1997)
Paradise Lost (2000)
Concrete Eden (2001)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 899
Language: english


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