Aquarian Weekly

New York/New Jersey/Connecticut music newspaper


By taking a short break from the power metal band Arctic Flame, drummer/vocalist Mike Paradine has introduced us to his debut solo album, Death In The Family. Born and raised in Bayonne, NJ, Mike has been in bands since he was a teenager and has recently opened up for groups such as Hammerfall and Gamma Ray.

Hard-hitting with some great riffs, “Venom And Piss” draws you into their world. The chorus is definitely noteworthy and the solo that Kilroy delivers is one of the finest moments from the disc. “Rise Up From The Grave,” which features Arctic Flame’s Michael Clayton Moore on vocals, is an incredibly personal song. Paradine, who subsequently lost his left leg after he was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 13, tells of how your life can look so grim upon being told that you have a serious illness.

Kilroy grabs control of the microphone on the soft track, “On A Tuesday Morning (The John J Harvey).” It’s a much different change of pace to the album but when the acoustic and electric guitars mix with each other, the tune becomes simply amazing! Reflecting back to your youth, “These Are The Days” is another awesome song. Moore hits the high notes with ease while Dave “Ghost” Meehan rocks the bass. Paradine then sings and smashes the drums while paying respect to one of his favorite groups, KISS, as he covers “Parasite.” Making a guest appearance on “Bow Down To The Queen” is Wolf’s drummer Richard Holmgren, who actually sounds pretty damn good on vocals.

Mike’s story is an intriguing one, and it’s great to have this talented guy in our own backyard. This album is not the hardest one you’ll come across but the music is good and the band does a great job of mixing and matching with many different singers.

In A Word: Exciting

—by Giorgio Mustica, November 17, 2011


United Kingdom




– March 25, 2012Posted in: CD Reviews

Another day, another pleasant surprise. When CackBlabbath received the debut solo album from ArcticFlame drummer Mike Paradine no one was exactly falling over themselves to volunteer to review it. But we do listen to everything that we receive, and that’s just as well or we could have missed out on a bit of a gem as “Death In The Family” is a collection well written and great sounding “classic rock” and metal songs.

Opening track Venom And Piss is an out and out rocker which relates the story of a bitter family feud, and that sets the lyrical scene for what is clearly a very personal album.

This guy has clearly had an eventful life, Rise Up From The Grave has an altogether unexpected poignancy, the story of the 13 year old Mike’s battle with Cancer, and how the medical profession wrote him off  “No one gives you a fighting chance, once you’re in Cancer’s grip”.

It’s clearly a very personal album, but it never starts to wander into “unnecessarily self indulgent”. OK, so you can explore the deep meanings behind the songs if you want….. Or you can just treat it as what it is, a collection of decent rock and metal songs.

One of the cool things about this release is the way that it mixes those two styles, and I don’t just mean that it cunningly blends them in one track, I mean that the opener is a rock song, but other tracks are more or less pure Heavy Metal, and so it goes on through the 10 tracks that make up the album.

Along side his ArcticFlame cohorts there are a number of notable guest appearances on the album, with Wolf vocalist Richard Holmgren lending his, not inconsiderable, vocal talent to proceedings. Musically Mike & Co draw on a range of bands who have influenced them, and one of the fun things about albums like this is picking out the influences at play, bit of Kiss here (and not just in Parasite), Touch of Van Halen there, spot of Ozzy, Priest, even Guns’n'Roses…. you get the idea.

It mostly works well, although it does fall a bit flat at the end with the overlong “ballad of 9/11 by numbers” The Dust which does take the “finish on a high” theory… and ignore it .

So there you have it. Maybe it’s nothing to shake the world but this is an album that is immediately likeable, and there’s no denying that it’s enjoyable enough right from the very start.

Good, fun, stuff. Like it a lot.

Ring Master Reviews

United Kingdom


Unsure what to expect going into the debut solo album from Mike Paradine, the drummer of metal band ArcticFlame, there was a slight reticence alongside the intrigue. Traditional metal the sound his day job creates is not the favoured sound here but as soon as the opening chords and riffs broke out upon Death In The Family any doubt was blown right away. The album is an eager and undemanding muscular burst of honest and straight forward rock ‘n’ roll. An immediate buddy to go sink some beer with and delight in mischief alongside, basically a total joy.

The Mike Paradine Group has produced an album that captures the imagination and heart with songs that carry no pretence or self indulgence. They are tunes wanting to have and to offer fun which they do across all ten exuberant tracks to the fullest satisfaction. The collection of songs are a personal journey for Paradine with many of the themes being taken from his “on-going feud” with certain family members, his battle with cancer as a thirteen year old, and his life growing up through the 70’s and 80’s in Bayonne, New Jersey. With the lyrics and melodies provided by Paradine alongside the music of Dave Manheim (Supernatiral, Society Killers), who also produced the release, the album is an honest creation from the heart with no sign of bitterness or anger, just truth.

The album sees Paradine bringing vocals and all drums to its tracks with Manheim providing the guitars, bass, and keyboard. There are also additional contributions from Richard Holmgren (Wolf) and Michael Clayton Moore (ArcticFlame) who do the vocals on some songs as does Manheim, Jeff Scott (ArcticFlame) on bass for the cover of Parasite by Kiss, and Kilroy on guitar. Death In The Family is wonderfully varied, bursting out with quality heavy metal energy and aggression at times whilst on some tracks exciting the ear with powerful rock based songs. There is never a predictable moment or any point when one looks forward to the next track. The release is not ground breaking but simply feeds the senses with the best infectious rock ‘n’ roll wrapped up in an invention and energy that captures the heart and imagination.

       Venom And Piss opens up the party with robust eager riffs and a melodic teasing of the ear. It takes the senses on a boisterous addictive ride, the song dripping well crafted metal intent and fresh energy. Holmgren brings the personal words of Paradine forth with an accomplished and expressive delivery that lies perfectly on the irritable groove which winds around the ear persistently. An excellent start easily backed up by following song Rise Up from the Grave. With Clayton Moore taking over the vocals the song deals with being a 13 year old boy having cancer, the defiance of Paradine despite losing his leg from it at the time bristling from every word and punched through by the fine metal driven sounds behind. Already the album has won the heart but it only gets better from here on in.

The wonderful Cooperesque Monster’s Ball is an instantaneous love affair; it defies anyone not to join in within the opening minute of its infection. The tale of various serial killers gathering together for a party is an exhilarating audio cartoon strip to increase the pulse rate. The dual vocals of Paradine and Manheim ride an avalanche of hungry riffs and a groove that takes control with a siren like charm. The solo it unleashes is as sharp as the evil that frequents the characters within the song and the anthemic like quality throughout is a rewarding pleasure to fully lose one self within.

The album holds these heights throughout with songs like the soulful power ballad On a Tuesday Morning (The John J Harvey), the mighty Taste My Fist another metal defiant tune carrying a great Dead Kennedys like groove dealing with Paradine’s battle with cancer, and the stunning emotive closing ballad The Dust, all striking deep and wholeheartedly with quality and immense relish. The finest moment on the album though is Suzie with an Uzi, a punk veined rock song that captivates with a contagious melodic attack and hi-intensity energy. It sums up the whole album, irresistible excitable riffs, extremely well crafted flowing songs, and a personality that one simply cannot fail to be enamoured with.

Death In The Family is one of the most enjoyable and impressive albums to come out so far this year. It makes no claim to be anything more than what it is, an excellent vibrant rock ‘n’ roll album that makes listening to it a complete and long lasting pleasure.

RingMaster 27/03/2012

Zikannuaire  (France)

Mise en ligne le 28/03/2012 - (Lu 819 fois)



3.5 out 5 Stars


Does the group Artic Flame you speak? Mike Paradine, their drummer, released her first album. "Death in family". Mike Paradine Group welcomes artists like Richard Holmgren (Wolf), Michael Clayton Moore (ArcticFlame), Jeff Scott (ArcticFlame), Dave "Ghost" Manheim (Society Killers) and Kilroy. This album has 10 tracks. They are all completely different, which is of course linked to the diversity of people invited.

The songs, whose approaches are as diverse and varied, us into the world of heavy metal turned a little stoner rock style. Venom and the first song Piss makes me stomp, it's a good title and it suggests that while the album will be like that and it's really not true. Of this title until the end, I feel good. For example the introduction of the second, Rise Up From The Grave remind me of music from a horror movie. Listening to the words, I must not be further from the truth but that is not quite right. The song marks the fourth break of the album, a tribute to Sept. 11. Was Tuesday Morning is a superb rock-tinged ballad, quiet, airy. I keep listening and sudden surprise, change style and end up in the middle as a Kiss, in fact, the group takes Parasite. It does not stop there, as the year after Suzie and Uzi sounds very old rock. It seems we find the influences of group members. The result does not change perspective, it remains in the rock metal 80/90. Taste my Fist evokes the struggle of Mike Paradine against cancer that he contracted at the age of 13 years. Finally the album closes on The Dust, aka tribute to Sept. 11. This is a rather melancholy ballad but knowing the tragedy that this event was, understandably. Peace to all victims!

In conclusion, I would simply say that this cd shows that one should not necessarily be a singer or guitarist to release an album to his name. Quality is also an appointment with Mr. Mike Paradine, a drummer ...