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09.18.14 Paradise Lost Ranking12.26.13 Finnish Albums I Enjoy
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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.
13Paradise Lost
Lost Paradise

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"
12Paradise Lost
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"
11Paradise Lost
One Second

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"
10Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost

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"
9Paradise Lost

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"
8Paradise Lost
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"
7Paradise Lost
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"
6Paradise Lost

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"
5Paradise Lost
In Requiem

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"
4Paradise Lost
Draconian Times

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"
3Paradise Lost
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"
2Paradise Lost
Tragic Idol

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"
1Paradise Lost

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"
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