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Alice Cooper - Paranormal album review

Shock rock icon sets new standards for himself

Cover art for Alice Cooper - Paranormal album

Never one to settle back and take things comfortably, Alice Cooper has really stretched himself on Paranormal, one of his best albums. With producer Bob Ezrin taking a firm grip on the style, what we get is dynamic, thrusting, melodic and thankfully just a little on the edge. Alice has pulled in pals such as ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Roger Glover of Deep Purple and U2’s Larry Mullen to help him out. But the celebrity presence is not what matters. What shines through is the perverse, scary prism through which the man himself always views life. Dynamite Road has a rock’n’roll encounter with Satan and Fireball is about the end of the world – done in the Cooper vernacular. He even gets the original Alice Cooper Band back together for a couple of stompers, one of which – Genuine American Girl – tackles transgender issues. A fine addition to the Cooper canon.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.