|UserReviews 3Approval 100%Soundoffs 1Album Ratings 1055Objectivity 70%Last Active 06-05-13 3:25 pmJoined 03-11-12Forum Posts 1Review Comments 1,379
|Paradise Lost Ranking|
A ranking of the Halifax-based gothic metal band with some short descriptions, including lines from my favourite tracks of each respective album.
Although being very well received at its time for being one of the first death/doom albums, the debut of the British band is a much too monotonous and rather simplistic affair that, while still having sinister vocals and managing to create an ominous atmosphere, is no match to their later work. Worth a listen only for avid death/doom fans.
"Where is your god now as you're dying alone"
Believe In Nothing
An album recorded under certain label instructions and during times when Nick Holmes was on anti-depressants, "Believe in Nothing" marks the weakest of the band's electronica-influenced period. Main issue is that the catchy songs and good clean vocals are dragged down by a synthetic production, unlike all the other similar records.
"On hopeless days I sit and justify, a wholesome life, of which I'm so deprived"
The starting point of their love for Depeche Mode. Leaving their gothic doom metal sound behind must have alienated a lot of their fans, but the well implemented keyboards and sound effects make the shift to a synth-goth rock sound a highly enjoyable, yet still undeniably morose experience.
"You could not care for what tune sorrow sings"
Not really a return to the original sound as a self-titled album would suggest, but it marks the reduction of electronica to a minimum and an increased presence of guitar solos and piano parts. A very polished production makes for an accessible listen but the fairly similar structures result in certain songs being harder to distinguish.
"All around seems so obscure, all around seems less than pure"
Completely abandoning metal, Paradise Lost bring through "Host" a dark, atmospheric synthpop record that includes some of Nick's most soothing and at times most Dave Gahan-sounding vocals, along with a varied use of synths, keyboards and samples that never fail to maintain an entertaining listen throughout. A fine example of a band experimenting with a radically different style for excellent outcomes.
"Without the strength to hold onto what's sinking"
Symbol Of Life
Punchy guitar lines with an occasional industrial feel, an increased bass presence mixed with synthesizers create the most engaging album of their experimental era, combining the catchiness and shadowy vibe of the previous three with a definite metallic edge.
"Just a loaded gun, a symbol of my life"
Shades of God
Along with solid slabs of gothic metal, "Shades of God" features songs with acoustic passages and prolonged instrumental breaks, sometimes hinting at an almost progressive take on songwriting. However, this also proves to be a downside, as some of the tracks could benefit from a shorter length. In terms of vocals, Nick was using a rather unique rough tone, right between his growls from "Gothic" and his Hetfield-esque shouts from "Icon".
"Your hand in mine, we'll reach the sign of plains above us, your hand in mine, unholy times of pain relentless"
The album that basically created gothic metal, it improves on the debut in every way, with a more capable songwriting, a new sense for melody, more creative riffs and solos and a slightly better vocal performance. Even if atmosphere is always what Paradise Lost excel at on every album, the raw production on "Gothic" and the by-then remaining traces of death/doom make the melancholy fused with morbidity truly outstanding. The title track is also an early take on the "beauty and the beast" style that would later be developed by bands such as Theatre of Tragedy and Tristania.
"Only the darkness can filter through"
With "Symbol of Life" and the self-titled the band were ever so slightly giving clues that they would return to the doomier sound, but it's "In Requiem" where they actually choose to embrace that sound again. Haunting, heavy, melodic, catchy. An excellent modern approach on gothic doom metal that can serve as a starting point for people wanting to get into the band or into the less inviting classics of the genre.
"Why can't you say sorrow"
The Hetfield influence is in full force for Nick here, but the morose nature of the album won't make anyone think it's another particular band. The instrumentation is unswerving, with the guitarists being the focal point; Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy prove they can do more than downbeat melodies and chunky riffs, as some tracks are unusually hectic (by Paradise Lost standards).
"Are you forever - pale, regarded as a waste of time"
Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
If "In Requiem" symbolized an accessible gothic doom record, then "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us" is where the band decided to throw its listeners back into the true torment of former times, but still through the lens of their newly acquired freshness. Hooks are less prevalent, every guitar note and drum beat seem to hit harder and even the frequent post-"One Second" clean vocals are now accompanied by a gruff tone reminiscent of Nick's older styles, sustaining the hopelessness dominating the album.
"Changed are the ways of man, fortitude to face the path"
Dense, relentlessly bleak, often crushing and completely leaving electronics behind after the opener, "Tragic Idol" takes a while to truly unfurl, but it arguably contains Nick's best vocal performance and some of the guitarists' best riffs and solos. Even the loud, modern production actually manages to enhance the distressing atmosphere. All in all, perfect proof that a band that's been going for more than 20 years can still have plenty of compositional prowess left and a great sign for the future.
"Your darkened soul embraced me, gave me such resolve"
From the dismal intro of "Embers Fire" until the creepy "Deus Misereatur", "Icon" constantly preserves a mournful and harrowing feeling, spreading out top tier gothic metal tracks, each with their hidden twists that will spice up every subsequent listen, an accomplishment not often observed in a genre absorbed in a specific atmosphere. Very melodic, yet gritty and fairly complex compared to their peers, "Icon" is Paradise Lost's crowning achievement and a recommended listen for any metal fan.
"Death's wicked smile never fails"
|Quite a consistent band. Maybe not much of sputnik's cup of tea, but it was fun doing this.|
|Sweet list :D|
|Nice list, Draconian Times and should be higher though (if not no1). Also, I really enjoyed Believe in Nothing, but I might be the only one...|
|Top 4 are really close to each other. I do enjoy Believe in Nothing a lot as well, it's not bad at all, I just think the other ones were overall better executed, though.|
|4 is 1 for me. I'd also have 6 and 7 in the top 4|
|ive been meaning to check this band out, so far i've only vaguely heard draconian times|
|Good to see a Paradise Lost list. I'd definitely have Gothic in the first 4 places, One Second a bit higher and Host a bit lower. Great descriptions as well Evo.|
|Yeah they definitely need more love around here.|
|A lot of bands in the 90s were hugely influenced by these guys. Paradise Lost were maybe the biggest name in metal in the mid 90s.|
|Anathema seem to be a lot more popular on here, and yet PL were prob one of their biggest influences.|
|@Nero and manosg |
As you can probably tell from that description, I have an immense respect for Gothic, but at times it still is a bit on the homogenous side and that's why it's edged out by the following 5 for me.
|Excellent list. I will check their discog. this band was always interresting for me, hadn't the opportunity to check in detail tho. Thx for this push :)|
|Thanks everyone for the comments :).|
@Flug Good choice. With so many different takes on their music, you won't get bored at all. Also, I think except for the debut which is definitely their weakest, everyone would rank the albums in different ways.
|91-95 PL is where its at. |
|91-95 along with 2007-present. Loving what they did on the recent ones.|