Paradise Lost
Draconian Times


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
June 11th, 2007 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


Paradise Lost is one of those bands that you could say suffers from what one might call "Metallica syndrome." While their first albums were revered heavily as innovators of death/doom, Nick Holmes began abandoning his growl for a more Hetfield-esque bellow, combined with more melodic moments. They crossed the murky seep of My Dying Bride with the gothic rock a la Sisters of Mercy, leaning far more towards the latter style on later album.

This album, Draconian Times, however, falls right in the middle, and is an excellent blend of both styles on offer. While the riffs are heavy and churning (albeit not as chugga-chugga as before), the band remains melodic and instead of going on sprawling 10-minute excercises in pointless noodling, the band keeps things short and sweet. Song lenghts average around four minutes, which make the album pretty accessible without being ridiculously overblown and long.

Despite that, the album's feel of doom and gloom is retained. In this scene, it has always been mandatory that a band's sound remains depressing and melancholy no matter how loud the guitars chug, or how loud the grunts sound. Paradise Lost hit that atmosphere square on the nose on this release. Songs like the amazing "Hallowed Land" combine eerie piano tinkling with slow, burning guitars and restrained lead guitar melodies, drowning you in a world of misery and sorrow.

Mr. Holmes's Hetfield-aping vocals enhance the whole feeling, although he comes over more as aggressive than sad, he still sounds quite melancholy. His voice is powerful enough to carry the songs to an end; in fact, his voice is pretty much an asset for the band as the band thrives on the slow and doomy guitars with Holmes' introspective lyrics about the fading reality of life and his world.

Unfortunately music like this ineffably falls into repetition somewhere. The band were clever enough to keep the play length short enough to avoid too much of filler, but the album can seem samey at times and it will feel like you've heard it all before sometime. The depressing feel that the album puts across isn't changed in any way by it, although the tempo sometimes varies from slow to a little more midtempo (such as Once Solemn and The Last Time.)

Paradise Lost therefore offer us one of the most genuine platters of gothic/doom metal of the 90s. A blueprint for many bands in the style to follow, this is a commendable effort from one of the innovators of this particular style of metal, and although the band will inevitably sound bland at some point, remember that this is mood music and not meant to be whored 24/7. As long as you don't play this album too much, you'll realise that this is pretty much the best the style has to give.



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user ratings (326)
Chart.
4.3
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Comments:Add a Comment 
freudianslipknot
June 11th 2007


803 Comments


It is so cool to see a review for Paradise Lost. I actually haven't listened to this - but your parallel with Metallica is very true of their previous album Shades of God (which I really enjoyed). I think I will check this out.

Confessed2005
June 11th 2007


3314 Comments


Saw them live , a truly inspiring act.

I really need to pick up a few of their albums. Quality review.

Det_Nosnip
June 12th 2007


374 Comments


Heh...you sound rather apathetic in your review and yet you gave it a 4! :confused:

Anyways, classic album...definitetly one of their best next to Icon, Believe in Nothing, and, quite honestly, the new album.

kalkal50
June 12th 2007


2386 Comments


Short reviews are refreshing, I don't see why they're even frowned upon. Great job Jorn

Altmer
June 12th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah why use a gajillion paragraphs to say what you can sum up in a couple sentences

LukC
October 7th 2009


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Classic Paradise Lost

oalston
October 7th 2009


91 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The first four tracks on this album are excellent but when you start getting to the second half of the album it gets boring and the songs sound too similar. Although I love some albums with similar sounding songs, Paradise Lost don't manage to pull it off here.

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually agree with that, except I think they pulled it off ok.

Digging: Necropoli - I

FadeToBlack
February 10th 2011


10926 Comments


just realised they're on tour soon commemorating this albums 15th anniversary

there better be tickets left

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2011


6102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah they are coming to Thessaloniki, Greece in March the 20th.

I can't wait to see them live.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2011


6102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is so fuckin' intense!

KILL
September 26th 2011


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2011


1876 Comments


I really cannot wait to see this band at BOA 2012, and its because of albums like this that I really cannot find fault with. Except for the slightly weaker tracks that are 'Hands of Reason' and 'I See your Face'(even they don't fail to impress me either), this album is epic.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

KILL
October 9th 2011


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea bro i'll be there too we should hang, do you like rush

KILL
October 15th 2011


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules [2]

TheNotrap
April 2nd 2012


8070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

One of their most solid releases.

Digging: Lago - Tyranny

KILL
April 2nd 2012


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

their best

KjSwantko
January 9th 2013


9277 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuck yeah.

KjSwantko
January 11th 2013


9277 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Jaded is seriously one of the gnarliest metal songs ever.

KjSwantko
January 16th 2013


9277 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

HEARTS BEATING
HEARTS BEATING FOR THE LAST TIME



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