Paradise Lost
Shades of God


3.5
great

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
May 30th, 2008 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid doom album.

Paradise Lost is one of doom’s early greats, rising to popularity in the early 90s with the likes of My Dying Bride, Katatonia and Anathema. These 4 bands were some of the first to combine doom and death, and most doom bands of today owe them some gratitude for influencing everything they write. Shades of God is Paradise Lost’s third album, and closes the band’s early era, while marking the beginning of progression from straight death/doom to the more synthetic, electronic and experimental styles they would later employ. Shades of God builds upon the foundation the previous album Gothic had lain out, and offers not only a flashback to where the death influenced doom of today comes from, but also an enjoyable and accessible romp in gloomy, melodic, death/doom.

Throughout the album, the band maintains a constant gloom, created through a combination of dark melodies and haunting vocals. The melody on this album is great; each song makes sure to incorporate melodic riffs, lead breaks and Holmes’ vocals to ensure that we can easily separate the doom from the death. Not only this, the album instrumentally is quite well made. There is an abundance of great riffs and solos; both Mackintosh and Aedy show us that their guitar playing is not below par. Another point I’ll mention is the bass. Fortunately for us, the bass is very audible and makes up very important sections in the songs, take for example ‘Pity the Sadness’. It makes the experience a whole more enjoyable, being able to pick out each members contribution to the song and album. The one bone I had to pick with the instrumentals was the drumming; most of the beats and fills on the album were incredibly simplistic. I do acknowledge that this is doom, but this album is death metal enough to have benefited from a little inspired drumming. Other than this, Shades of God is musically very solid.

Along with the music, Paradise Lost’s vocals have also evolved throughout their career. They first began with the common growling of the time, which was evident on their first three albums (Shades of God being the third), before gradually becoming cleaner in tone. One thing to note, however, is that the growling on this album isn’t what one would expect; it’s not similar to the usual death metal growls a la Mikael Akerfeldt. Rather, they seem almost natural and have a very gravelly feel to them. Holmes still goes low in some songs, but generally they are kept under control and can actually be quite melodic, take for example (again) ‘Pity the Sadness’. The most similar vocalist I could think of was A.A. Nemtheanga of Primordial, but then again their voices are still quite different.

In terms of song-writing, Shades of God is extremely solid. There isn’t really any song that I disliked, but amongst all the greats there were a couple of average songs. Songs like ‘Mortals Watch the Day’ or ‘Pity the Sadness’ however, epitomize the sound that Paradise Lost has on this album. This sound is in part due to the production, which is slick and very refined, unlike Gothic where there was a very raw feel to the music and the vocals. The production allows Paradise Lost to shift between the heavier and slower moments with relative ease, and absolutely no breaks in the flow of the music. This works well in the albums favor, not only because it complements the gloomy atmosphere, but also because it makes it more accessible.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable album, and despite being a little dated really gives us an insight into where a lot of today’s doom came from.

Recommended songs:
Pity the Sadness
Mortals Watch the Day
Your Hand in Mine



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user ratings (150)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
FuneralMarch (2.5)
Plenty of good ideas that were executed poorly....


Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
May 30th 2008


14544 Comments


re-submit

Willie
Moderator
May 30th 2008


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The only song I really like from this album is "As I Die". The rest are just ok. Their next album was a huge leap forward.

Who is the chick in your avatar anyway?This Message Edited On 05.30.08

Digging: Necropoli - I

rasputin
May 30th 2008


14544 Comments


Dolores O'Riordan, from the Cranberries *sighs*

BallsToTheWall
May 30th 2008


44407 Comments


Good review, not so so much into doom but I found a pretty cool funeral doom duo the other day called Remembrance. I'll probaly review it soon enough. As for Dolores, she rules. One of a kind along with Bjork.

Digging: She Past Away - Belirdi Gece

Buccaneer
May 30th 2008


692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, I really like Paradise Lost but I'm not too sure on whether I should get this or not. The only ones i've heard are In Reqiuem, Draconian Times and Icon, which are all great...

rasputin
June 9th 2008


14544 Comments


The only ones i've heard are In Reqiuem, Draconian Times and Icon, which are all great...

I think this is pretty different to any of those, so perhaps listen to a track or two before getting it.

Willie
Moderator
June 10th 2008


15979 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The only ones i've heard are In Reqiuem, Draconian Times and Icon, which are all great
You really do have the best albums by them already (or have heard them, anyway). For this album imagine a more raw, less developed version of "Icon" with harsher vocals. If that doesn't sound too appealing then try "Symbol of Life" which is like "Draconian Times" mixed with Depeche Mode (it's good though).

dheim
February 23rd 2009


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is maybe my favourite PL album... it hasn't got the epic choruses of icon, nor the majestic melodies of draconian times, but it's a perfect blend of sabbath oriented doom and gothic atmospheres...
as a bonus greg mackintosh plays some of the best guitar solos EVER.

TheNotrap
August 4th 2011


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Between average and good.
As I Die is probably their best song here.

Digging: Lago - Tyranny

Dreamflight
August 4th 2011


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with the rating, not the song. As I die is great, but Mortals watch the day is even better.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2011


6112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm surprised no one mentioned "Pity the Sadness" along with "As I Die"



Digging: Disasterhate - Sacrifice To Eclipse

TheNotrap
August 4th 2011


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Agree. Mortals Watch the Day is also one of the best songs here.

TheNotrap
August 4th 2011


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Well I don't listen to this record for a long time...let me check that song

TheNotrap
August 4th 2011


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Definitely how could I forget this song. Also a good song sure. In my opinion their main problem at this point was the average drummer.


Dreamflight
August 4th 2011


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a nice thrashy song, nothing outstanding.

KILL
September 24th 2011


71795 Comments


good shit

KILL
October 17th 2011


71795 Comments


great shit

tylerdurdenpt
February 1st 2012


96 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Rather poor.

KILL
February 1st 2012


71795 Comments


fuck you

tylerdurdenpt
February 1st 2012


96 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Ouch, you're such a meanie.

Seriously, though, and generally speaking - it's funny to see how people react to another person's
negative opinion on an album or band (or movie, or anything else) they themselves seem to love. I'm
not trolling - I actually find this strange and amusing.



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