Paradise Lost
Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
September 21st, 2009 | 206 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album is the first one in well over a decade that won’t have new fans scratching their heads wondering why this band is known as one of the forefathers of doom

When Paradise Lost released In Requiem a few years ago, most fans probably assumed that things were as good as they were going to get. Sure, the album wasn’t exactly doom but it at least mixed the band’s poppy latter albums with a metallic approach that hadn’t really been heard since Draconian Times. It turns out, though, that the band weren’t entirely finished transitioning back to their roots. Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us strips the last remnants of the bands poppier sound and replaces it with the oppressive doom of their first few releases. In the process they have easily created the darkest and heaviest album of their career – an album that pulls equally from Lost Paradise, Icon and Draconian Times while still retaining a modern sound and even delivering a few surprises.

Despite the fact that this album essentially completes the band’s conversion back to doom/metal (not doom metal), it’s not as different from In Requiem as one might imagine. The riffs are still a hybrid of Shades of God doom and Draconian Times metal, and the melancholic leads still owe a lot to Icon. The difference is that the heaviness and the doom facets have been moved to the forefront of the music. For fans, you might say that they brought back a bit of that dismal Lost Paradise grittiness. In order to better complement this heavier approach, Nick Holmes has also reached deep into his past and returned with the near-death growls that he hasn’t used since 1992. He uses these vocals in addition to the Hetfield-ish metal shout and Dave Gahan influenced clean vocals that most current fans are probably more familiar with. This collection of influences has resulted in an album that builds its foundation on bleak, moderately paced doom riffs that retain a sense of dynamics by including quicker riffs that could be considered closer to traditional metal. Over this foundation is a near-constant influx of somber leads that are meant to be the centerpiece of each song.

For those that are relatively new to the band, it might be strange to think that the choruses are no longer the driving factor of each song but it’s true. That’s doesn’t mean that they abandoned that aspect of their sound only that the choruses are no longer as overtly poppy as they once had a tendency to be. As mentioned earlier, this has left the melancholic guitar leads to provide the memorable foundation of each song and they’re able to deliver. The only issue is that it’s obviously going to take longer for a song to “click” when it’s the music and not a vocal hook providing the majority of the memorable moments. Along with the reduced role of choruses, the band has also reduced the importance of the keyboards to the point that they’re hardly noticeable anymore. The unfortunate thing is that these keyboards and choruses had a lot to do with the quality behind In Requiem, and it would have been nice to see them reprising their places on this album. Up to this point, it might seem as if the band have nothing new to offer, regardless of the music’s quality, but that’s simply not true. It turns out that they have included a few surprises within the album, but to discuss them here would be like including the end of a movie in the trailer.

Over the band’s twenty-year existence they have made a few different musical transitions – some smoother than others – and with this album they have now come full circle. Gone are almost any remnants of the band’s flirtation with a Depeche Mode style, and in their place is the bleak doom of the band’s early nineties beginnings. While a lot of references to previous albums and styles were made over the course of this review, the best part about this album is that it still sounds fresh. The band may be returning to their roots, but they’re filtering that sound through over two decades of songwriting experience and still aren’t afraid of adding a few surprises that no one will see coming (listen to “Frailty” for one of the biggest surprises). In the process they have returned with an album that defines their original sound without sounding dated or uninspired.



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user ratings (277)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
September 21st 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This turned out to be a surprise. It's as good as In Requiem (but for different reasons), but Icon is still their peak.

Digging: Necropoli - I

LisbonGirls
September 21st 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Where the hell is the track list?
Edit: There it is

jingledeath
September 21st 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First album I got from this band and I it took me by surprise. Great album and great review as usual.

LisbonGirls
September 21st 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Music seems to have a longer lasting appeal when your drawn into the song for what it is and not just for a catchy chorus.

Willie
Moderator
September 21st 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Where the hell is the track list?
It was only viewable by elite members, but I went ahead and made it viewable by all. You should be able to see it now ;)
First album I got from this band and I it took me by surprise.
Well, this is a good place to start. If you're wanting to look further into their old stuff I'd go with In Requiem, Icon, and Draconian Times in that order. After that the albums are kind of hit-and-miss.

LisbonGirls
September 21st 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously I should be the elite of the elite.

BillEco
September 21st 2009


67 Comments


What is the new drummer like?

Willie
Moderator
September 21st 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He's the same as every other drummer the band has ever had - unremarkable. He gets the job done and he's far less boring and bland than he was in Cradle of Filth, so that has to count for something.

Altmer
September 21st 2009


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sounds good as im a draconian times fan

MisterBeefy
September 21st 2009


244 Comments


Sorry Willie, but I found this to be fairly bland.

Willie
Moderator
September 21st 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How can you find this bland and the new Theatre of Tragedy a 3.5? I'm willing to bet that you've hardly listened to this.

MisterBeefy
September 21st 2009


244 Comments


lmao I've listened to three or four tracks and nothing really connected. But I doubt this is another Innocence and Instinct situation. Also I've lowered my rating for that album.

LisbonGirls
September 21st 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude get over yourself, album is pretty awesome. Go listen to your mainstream bs

Willie
Moderator
September 21st 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lmao I've listened to three or four tracks and nothing really connected.
I thought so.

Phantom
September 21st 2009


8930 Comments


is this gr1m and/or kvlt?

LisbonGirls
September 21st 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Albums so bad that its good

Willie
Moderator
September 21st 2009


15976 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your musical tastes are so bad that they're... no wait, they're just bad. ;)

LisbonGirls
September 21st 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

OHHHH NO YOU DIDN`T!! lol Willie I should hang you by your nuts from a tree for that, but I enjoy ur reviews to much to do something so horrendous as that.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2009


8357 Comments


great review Willie, and I really love this line

It turns out that they have included a few surprises within the album, but to discuss them here would be like including the end of a movie in the trailer.
it kind of leaves the reader unsure about the surprises and forces him to lsiten to this, aka it's a very clever line.

Seeing a 4 star review for this gets me even more pumped as I still haven't listened to this (school's a bitch)


rasputin
September 21st 2009


14544 Comments


Dude get over yourself, album is pretty awesome. Go listen to your mainstream bs

loooooool


good review willie. i probably won't bother with this because anyhthing other than gothic and shades of god has never interested me, and i barely listen to those two now.



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