Paradise Lost
Lost Paradise


2.0
poor

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 2nd, 2008 | 35 replies | 11,936 views


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite being one of the forerunners of the genre, their debut album leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Paradise Lost are considered one of the originators of the modern doom sound and also one of the forerunners of the doom genre in general, and deservedly so. When they released their debut album in 1990 there was nothing that really sounded similar. In fact, it would be another two years before either My Dying Bride or Anathema released their first albums and really set the standard for what good doom could be. With that in mind it’s easier to understand why people may have thought this album was phenomenal at the time, but hindsight has proven otherwise. While you have to give credit to them for helping to define a genre, this album really sounds more like a death metal band without the chops and too lazy to play fast.

If you remove nostalgia and “reverence for the classics” then the only thing you’re left with is a raw slab of slow to mid-paced, underdeveloped metal that just so happens to incorporate the slightest bit of gothic atmosphere and melody. The album begins with one of the worst trends in metal; the throw-away intro track which through its use of droning noise sets the low standard that the rest of the songs will achieve with reckless enthusiasm. From the opening unremarkable ‘evil’ guitar melody on “Deadly Inner Sense” to the closing moments of the last forgettable, plodding riffs of “Internal Torment II” there is really very little in the way of redeeming factors in this album. Instead we’re treated to a series of sluggish, monotonous riffs with moments of silence every few minutes to signify that the band wants to make you believe they’ve moved on to a different song even though one is barely identifiable from the next.

As I mentioned earlier the riffs are all the same basic power chord progressions reused with subtle differences throughout the entire album. If the riffs were any good then that might not be such a bad thing but not only are they generic and forgettable, but they also lack any power or identity. Any fan of doom knows that often times the riffs are basic and slightly generic (especially in funeral doom), but the rest of the musical ideas are supposed to mask the lack of quality riffs and suck the listener into the music anyway, but again, Paradise Lost fail at this too. The wonderfully morose melodies found all over their gem, Icon, are almost no where to be found here and when they are they’re underdeveloped, do very little to compliment the song and feel almost like an afterthought. What’s worse is that other then the deficient riffs there is nothing other then the occasional sound effect to help these songs out of their slump.

The only element that does help to prop up these songs in any way at all is the vocals of Nick Holmes. His guttural death metal style is perfect for the raw sound presented on this album. In fact, it is often his multi-faceted death vocals that keep the songs from becoming redundant to the point that they’re entirely unlistenable. It is Nick’s voice that presents a lot of the power and heaviness attributed to this album, and it is his vocals that set any kind of atmosphere at all (barring the rare instance when they get it right musically). It is also his dark lyrics that set the standard for all future doom releases as he at least got that right the first time around.

I like Paradise Lost and I really do think they helped set the standard for the doom genre on their next few albums, but this one was definitely more of a stumble instead of the quick start that bands like Anathema and My Dying Bride pulled off a few years later. Unfortunately, except for the sake of nostalgia, there is very little to redeem this release. It is true that songs like “Breeding Fear” with its female vocals helped establish a stereotypical element that runs rampant these days, and the dark lyrics combined with the very rawest of gothic undertones helped create the basis for the genre, but is that enough to force yourself to listen to this? If you’re curious about the origins of the genre then, by all means, give this a try but for anyone just looking for a good, older doom album you need to set your sights a little later into the nineties.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
July 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I can't remember exactly where it was that I read it, but someone was mentioning that due to the setup for this site there are a lot more positive reviews then negative ones so I've picked a few albums I don't like that don't have reviews yet.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 2nd 2008



1063 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Nice review. Pos.

BallsToTheWall
July 2nd 2008



44164 Comments


Exactly agree with likemusic, nice review, pos. There new album is pretty awesome and I had some recs from Reznor but promptly forgot them.

rasputin
July 2nd 2008



14504 Comments


Good review. I still need to get a few more of these early releases, I only have Shades of God. I'll give this one a miss though.

Willie
Moderator
July 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I had some recs from Reznor but promptly forgot them.
I don't know what he reccomended but I'd try "Icon" (if you can remember).
I still need to get a few more of these early releases, I only have Shades of God.
Same goes for you, get "Icon" and possibly "Gothic".This Message Edited On 07.02.08

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 2nd 2008



3752 Comments


Agreed, never liked this album.

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

Smileyface
July 2nd 2008



309 Comments


Big thumbs up, 92 reviews, and you're style isn't stale.

Willie
Moderator
July 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks guys. I think all the other reviews have pretty much been lost in the shitstorm of the new PTH review.

Wizard
July 2nd 2008



18757 Comments


I'm very surprised by this review seeing as you praised their new album (which I enjoy as well ;)). It seems to me that alot people love most genre defying bands first albums and slowly tread away from their new stuff, claiming they have sold out. Excellent review as always. I think I will stay away from this.

I think all the other reviews have pretty much been lost in the shitstorm of the new PTH review.

I saw that review today and thought, "Someone looking for attention around here". I can't be bothered reading a review that is probably just going to claim that "PTH are technical but can't write songs" or "Rody is a shat singer". I guarantee that is what the review is all about hahaha. This Message Edited On 07.02.08

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

fireaboveicebelow
July 2nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yay someone reviewed this
this album is hard to listen to

descendents1
July 2nd 2008



702 Comments


You've gotten really fucking good at reviewing and it's a crime you're not staff at this time. You don't write like a douchebag, you're consistent, and your style evolves and your writing is skilled. Major pos.

Willie
Moderator
July 3rd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm very surprised by this review seeing as you praised their new album (which I enjoy as well ). It seems to me that alot people love most genre defying bands first albums and slowly tread away from their new stuff, claiming they have sold out.
Their new album is awesome, and so is a lot of their older stuff. I don't really do the sellout thing (anymore) as long as the music is good, but the first album isn't any good. Check out their second album "gothic" (and get the remastered version) for a good genre defining album... and thanks to the people who think this was good.


Wizard
July 3rd 2008



18757 Comments


I think I grew out of that "sellout" phase about 6 years ago (damn high school).

BallsToTheWall
July 6th 2008



44164 Comments


Do any of Paradise Lost's albums have female vocals on them? If so, could you reccomend them otherwie i'll get Icon

Willie
Moderator
July 6th 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Gothic" has the most female vocals of any album, but their use is still fairly minimal. "Icon" has one song with female vocals (Christendom), this album has the one song I mentioned, "Symbol of Life" has one song too. The others probably do too, but I can't remember for sure. I'd still say go with "Icon" because the slightly increased use of female vocals on "gothic" is minimal.

Khatnaa
February 7th 2009



24 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this albums tempo is fast.. but i like some riffs and solos

natey
February 7th 2009



4170 Comments


we read some of the epic in English and I was like WHOA confused (except i read the Bible). only kid to get a 100 on the test though /proudThis Message Edited On 02.07.09

dheim
February 23rd 2009



4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i voted it 3.5. great.
what can be so great in an album that is considered by its own makers the worst thing they ever made? well... i have to disagree with your review. when i first listened to Lost Paradise i didn't hear a death metal band that was too lazy to play fast riffs and blastbeats... i heard a band able to sound evil and outrageously raw WITHOUT fast riffing and blastbeats. and i found it quite scary, i'd say...

IntoTheFire
October 8th 2009



88 Comments


sick cover

LukC
October 9th 2009



25 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The only Paradise Lost album I don't like!



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