Paradise Lost: Masters Of Disquieting Metal
It goes back to that double album, Draconian Times, which the band Paradise Lost put out in 1995 (heck, 14 year ago), after which I was utterly captivated by their sound, that grimly insistent, riffs-a-plenty style whose tone swung between a kind of moody magnificence and angry despair. Having tipped off Dave Wingrove to them, he sent me copies of the two albums prior to DT, Icon and Shades of God, and they were excellent too. Funnily enough, just as I was getting into them, the band underwent a kind of metamorphosis over the next 3 albums, One Second, Host, and Believe In Nothing, where they radically altered their overall sound, putting aside the metallic mix they’d used up to Draconian Times.
Those 3 albums didn’t really do it for me. They weren’t bad by any means, but purely as a personal aesthetic they just kinda…left me cold. After Believe In Nothing came out, I was pretty well resigned to the feeling that the band had left behind their previous incarnations of sound and texture and mood.
Then in 2002 came Symbol Of Life.
It was an astonishing collection of songs, dark and intense and yet somehow gathering together all the additional influences of the previous 3 cds and stirring them into that older dark and gritty sound. The impact was revelatory, even triumphant, all killer no filler, culminating in the near-avant-garde/prog onslaught of Channel For The Pain. Truly, listening to that album was a Not Worthy! moment.
Since then we’ve had the self-titled Paradise Lost cd (2005) and Requiem (2007), both fabulous, both demonstrating an absolutely consistent high standard of songwriting creativity, a kind of visionary intensity focussed into metal music that truly takes you out of yourself. And now the new album, Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us, is due for release on Sept 28th. And until next Friday, the 25th, most if not all of the album is being streamed for listening at the band’s Myspace page, and it is such a joy to hear. It really is some achievement when you think about it, for a band to come out with four consistently excellent albums in succession. I guess we’re just lucky to have them around.
To savour the flavour, click on the link:
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