Paradise Lost
Icon


5.0
classic

Review

by lostforwords USER (36 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2009 | 51 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The band that created Gothic metal in its most brilliant moment

Paradise Lost is in many ways an incredible band. In the beginning of their career they were part of the (British) doom/death metal triumvirate, which also included Anathema and My Dying Bride. Only one year after their debut, with the release of their second album, entitled “Gothic” they, single- handedly created the gothic metal genre. They wouldn’t stop there however. Paradise Lost didn’t find comfort in settling in one style, so they would go on and on experimenting, sometimes with excellent results, others not that successfully. The point is that this band became exemplary of an ever- evolving band. Most of all, PL should be remembered for two of their albums; “Icon” and “Draconian Times”.

“Icon” is their fourth album, preceded by “Shades of God”, the latter expanding in their gothic influenced (heavily influenced as a matter of fact) doom/death metal. “Shades of God” wasn’t something really special, but it established them as one of the best bands of the genre. Still, it was one of the rare cases throughout their career that PL would take no risks.

“Icon” marks a big departure from that previous album. While there is no denying that PL were still influenced by Celtic Frost (the use of power chords, female vocals and gothic atmospheres is very similar to that of “Into the Pandemonium”, although not as transparently as in previous albums, especially “Gothic”)in “Icon” there is an obvious respect for the likes of Metallica. Nick Holmes abandons his characteristic death grunt and adopts a style not unlike that of James Hetfield. Given that there were already parts in their previous albums where he sung in a clear, baritone, gothic style, this new direction added color and strength to his vocals and, as a result, to the songs. Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy would further improve on their unique style, an excellent interplay between Aedy’ s crushing riffs and Mackintosh’s mournful, melodies. The riffs in particular are still doom-y but it was easy to see that they are much more powerful (check the intro to “Forging Sympathy” for example) than on previous albums. Still, more often than not, riffs are just a (perfect whatsoever) background for Greg’s trademark melodies, ever so moody and always very accurate. The band would not stop experimenting with strings and female voices, as well, in order to create dark, gloomy atmospheres. Such is the case with the magnificent “Christendom” or the terrifying closer “Deus Miserateur”.

More than anything, in “Icon” PL establish themselves as excellent songwriters. Simply put, if “Embers Fire” isn’t the best gothic metal song ever it’s because “True Belief” is. In the first one, Nick Holmes truly shines with his new found vocal style, but only because the guitars back him up so nicely. In the latter, everything seems to fit in just perfectly; from the melancholic intro to the memorable chorus, “True Belief” is an instant classic for the genre. Furthermore, in songs like “Remembrance”, “Weeping Words” and “Colossal Rains” PL offer us moments of brilliance that, with all the respect to every gothic metal band out there, were never to be topped (by any other band anyway).

Paradise Lost had been a very consistent band during the 90’s and at some point they nearly became a mainstream act, especially in Europe, as opposed to the US, where they are virtually unknown. This album has been highly influential to numerous bands, Lacuna Coil, Opeth and Katatonia to name a few. It is without any doubt one of the best metal albums of the 90’s. Its importance lays mainly in the fact that it managed to blend metal and gothic perfectly and still make it appealing to every metal fan at the same time. It can only be seen as a miracle that the band’s next effort, “Draconian Times” matched this one.



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user ratings (254)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
May 3rd 2009


44629 Comments


Terrific review. You have me sold. Will get....now since I have time.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

lostforwords
May 3rd 2009


446 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks dude. It's really worth it

Worth getting this I meanThis Message Edited On 05.03.09

BallsToTheWall
May 3rd 2009


44629 Comments


I was never particuarlly interested by My Dying Bride or Anathema until their latest acoustic album but Paradise lost and Katatonia rule my ears. I guess it's the gothic touch that does it. Gothic rules, Requiem rules, and Draconian rules. I'm also tempted to listen to Deus Misereatur first after it finishes download.



Poet
May 3rd 2009


5935 Comments


I probably should get into this band.

rasputin
May 3rd 2009


14550 Comments


eh, only their earlier stuff is really appealing, shades of god was where they started tapering off

BallsToTheWall
May 3rd 2009


44629 Comments


One spin through, I like it. The tracklisting was all whacked out but i'll burn to disk and listen to more tomorrow. Still need Shades of God.

lostforwords
May 3rd 2009


446 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0


Still need Shades of God.

It's not that great. It is close to Gothic but not as good. As i die rules though

fireaboveicebelow
May 4th 2009


6837 Comments


very good review, still haven't heard it though

Wizard
May 4th 2009


19519 Comments


A few formatting issues:

More than anything, in “Icon” PL establish themselves
I don't know how short forms go over with most people around here, but I would just write out the whole band name. Also I would make the album titles in italics; reads a bit better that way.

Really good review, lots of enthusiasm without sounding overly fanboyish. I guess I should give in to these guys and buy this album. Its been recommended to me for a while now (looking at you Willie hahaha).

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Willie
Moderator
May 4th 2009


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn right it's been reccomended ;) I have to disagree with Rasputin and say that this is the album where they finally started
living up to their potential. The albums before this are hit-and-miss.

Edit: oh, and True Belief is a classic song.



This Message Edited On 05.04.09

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Wizard
May 4th 2009


19519 Comments


See Willie, I never forget what you recommend ; ). Think I might order this tonight. Going into this without hearing a damn thing.

BallsToTheWall
May 4th 2009


44629 Comments


Christendom is an amazing song. Glad I got this. I need a new metal shirt, P.L might be my next target.

Willie
Moderator
May 6th 2009


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, Wizard, I've realized that I apparently recommend you a lot of stuff and since you buy them all instead of "investigating further" it's going to take awhile.

Wizard
September 7th 2009


19519 Comments


This is very true. However, some of these albums are impossible to find without back ordering them.

LukC
October 7th 2009


25 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic album, by a fantastic band!

scissorlocked
June 1st 2010


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review!!!!The album's a gem!

And true belief stands as a live masterpiece!!!!

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2010


6202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stellar review. Pos'd.

Terrific use of english.

Keep up the good work, πατριωτάκι!!!! ;)

Digging: Seduced (AT) - The Proclamation

TheNotrap
July 18th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Extreme influential record for all gothic metal bands in the 90s.
One of their classic albums.

Digging: Threshold - For The Journey

Zyhaal
September 7th 2011


193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fucking love this

TheNotrap
September 7th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

True Belief is probably one of their best songs IMO



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