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Paradox

Doom / Death Metal
London, England, United Kingdom

Paradox was a Christian black metal band founded in London, England, in 1996 by guitarist and vocalist Michael, using the pseudonym “John Tarantula.” They were reported to be, at the time, the only dark metal band in London promoting Christianity. The band self-described their style as “Holy Black Sludge,” a mixture of death, black, and doom metal. Critics have described the band as black metal, dark metal, and death metal. All the material by Paradox was self-released through Tarantula Promotions, that is managed by Michael.

Michael has stated that before becoming a Christian, he played in a band with his friends performing covers of bands such as Burzum, Darkthrone, Acheron, Beherit, and Havohej. In 1995, Michael converted to Christianity at a summer camp. His original band drifted apart, and in 1996 he formed a new band, Paradox, with his father and brother. The name “Paradox” was chosen because of the paradox of a Christian band playing very dark music. That year, the band released a demo entitled The Outcasts. UK-based Cross Rhythms Magazine later reviewed the demo and rated it six out of ten squares. Grey “The Invocator” later joined in 1998 as vocalist. According to Michael, Grey was not a Christian, but was a friend of his before his conversion and was comfortable with the goals of the band. A second demo, Through Pain There is Joy, followed in 2000, which Cross Rhythms rated seven out of ten squares, and stated that the band was the “London's only dark metal band who are out there doing it for Christ.” After this demo, the band line-up underwent a transition, with Michael “John Tarantula” re-forming Paradox with members Jasen “White Stick” on drums, Jeff “Death Warrior” on bass, Sam “Yellow Terror” on guitar, and Grey on vocals. In 2000, a new member, Rose “Dark Faery”, joined part-time as a keyboardist. The band started recording at a professional studio, but then announced in 2002 that they would dissolve with the release of their final two songs on Overcome or Burn Forever in Hell/Arachnid Terror Sampler. This was a split release combining an EP, Overcome or Burn Forever in Hell, by Paradox, and a sampler album, Arachnid Terror Sampler, featuring fourteen other artists including Frosthardr, Frost Like Ashes, Kekal, Pantokrator, Sanctifica, Soul Embraced, and Tortured Conscience.

Following the breakup of the band, Michael announced the formation of the projects Bloodshed and Slimegem. A friend of Michael's started the band Hamal 'ak Hamashith (ancient Hebrew for 'destroying angel') under the Tarantula Promotions label. Michael also published a newsletter, Fangs of Life, through Tarantula. He stated that one of the goals of this newsletter was to spread information about bands with positive lyrics, and was one of the main reasons for the release of the Arachnid Terror Sampler.

Discography

1997 The Outcasts Tarantula Promotions
2000 Through Pain There is Joy Tarantula Promotions
2002 Overcome or Burn Forever in Hell Tarantula Promotions

The Outcasts

1997 Tarantula Promotions

Michael “John Tarantula” – Guitar, vocals
Michael's father – Bass
Michael's brother – Drums

  1. Prayer of Suffering
  2. Freedom
  3. Incarnate Deity
  4. Tongues

Through Pain There is Joy

2000 Tarantula Promotions

Grey “The Invocator” – Vocals
Michael “John Tarantula” – Guitar, vocals
Michael's father – Bass
Michael's brother – Drums

  1. Dedication to the Sacrifice (0:53)
  2. Slavery (6:18)
  3. The Unapproachable Light (5:41)
  4. Save Your Soul (0:59)
  5. Life in Death (5:05)
  6. Outro (0:38)

Overcome or Burn Forever in Hell

2002 Tarantula Promotions

Grey “The Invocator” – Vocals
Michael “John Tarantula” – Guitar, vocals
Sam “Yellow Terror” – Lead guitar
Jeff “Death Warrior” – Bass guitar
Rose “Dark Faery” – Keyboards Jasen “White Stick” – Drums

  1. Overcome (Victory in Christ) (3:41)
  2. Burning Forever (Burning in Hell) (3:06)