Paradise Lost
Symbol Of Life


4.0
excellent

Review

by lostforwords USER (36 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2012 | 11 replies | 4,284 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

The four albums that followed “Draconian Times” constitute a very distinct period in Paradise Lost’s career. During this four-album streak the band progressively abandoned the Celtic Frost influenced/doom metal style (with Metallica being a guilty pleasure) in favor of a Depeche Mode friendly sound. Inevitably, the band moved further and further away from metal, especially with albums like One Second and Host. Believe in Nothing marked the return of guitars and it is an exceptional record, but its diversity and the fact that it sounded too close to alternative/gothic rock wasn’t well taken.

Symbol of Life, marked the return of metal for Paradise Lost. Significantly heavier than their previous efforts, it demonstrates successfully where Paradise Lost wanted to go and as a result this record is much more focused than any of the previous ones. Its spine is now metallic, but the excessive use of synthesizers proves that Paradise Lost are not over Depeche Mode yet. Oddly enough, proof for that provides one of the bonus tracks; Bronski Beat’s Small Town Boy, which is covered here, sounds strangely at home with Paradise Lost’ s dark aesthetics and heavily distorted guitar combined with the original’s trademark dance beat. This is however the most fun this record gets because Symbol of Life retains the one and only element present in every Lost album; the crushing darkness.

With all that in mind standout tracks are easy to spot; Isolate has a very tight groove, it is a song to bang your head to. Erased could be seen as the band’s effort to claim their own piece of the “female fronted metal” cake, if we didn’t know that they almost invented it- a very good, catchy single. Mystify carries the trademark Mackintosh melody and Channel for the Pain is the most tastefully aggressive Lost have been in years. Keyboard driven tracks like No Celebration, Pray Nightfall are enchantingly melancholic, while the title track is fantastic. A few mishaps could not be avoided; Self Obsessed is pointless; Primal has memorable riffs and an excitingly dark atmosphere but lacks a good vocal melody. Which is a rare occasion in this record, as Nick Holmes is once again amazing.

This album was not a big hit with the fans, who only saw it as a step in the right direction (which includes metal). For a hardcore fan, there are indeed things to adore and things to despise in here; it is hard to appreciate the classic Paradise Lost recipe, consisting of incredible guitar melodies, depressive atmosphere, heaviness and vocal lines that go beyond the memorable, when a scent of selling out is still in the air. Be that as it may, Symbol of Life is a successful experiment and a very nice collection of songs, from a band, whose never ending tendency to evolve remains its most interesting aspect.



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user ratings (132)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dreamflight
March 2nd 2012



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"A few mishaps could not be avoided; Self Obsessed is pointless; Primal has memorable riffs and an excitingly dark atmosphere but lacks a good vocal melody. "

NEG NEG NEG NEG....good day to you sir.

jk, review is very well written have a pos. And really, those two are my favs here. :D

Blankerman
March 2nd 2012



11 Comments


Badass band dude!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 2nd 2012



5987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review for an awesome and terribly underrated Paradise Lost album, pos.

Was thinking of reviewing this, but now i can safely move on.


Some corrections:

it finally demonstrates successfully

it demonstrates successfully



dance beat . This is

fix the period

Digging: Lisa Gerrard - Twilight Kingdom

lostforwords
March 3rd 2012



445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Some corrections:"
Fixed! merci monsieur!

"And really, those two are my favs here."
Wow! Do we have the same taste or what??

I was looking at the 4 I gave this one, and the 4 I gave "Warning". Two very different 4s in my mind actually


TrephineArtist
March 3rd 2012



183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quote;
"For a hardcore fan, there are indeed things to adore and things to despise in here; it is hard to appreciate the classic Paradise Lost recipe, consisting of incredible guitar melodies, depressive atmosphere, heaviness and vocal lines that go beyond the memorable, when a scent of selling out is still in the air."

Well, for me there's nothing to despise here. If anything, the increased metal of the last album could possibly owe more to 'selling out' (even if it was a great album) than the awesome 'Host' & 'One second' which were not following a trend and had people scratching their heads. Fact is these guys just keep on putting out superb music.



lostforwords
March 4th 2012



445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I almost never care for the motives behind a change of direction, I only care for the result. So the fact that these four albums are "less metal" than the previous and the follwing ones never bothered me at all. In fact two of my favorite PL albums come from this era and I too am a little suspicious regarding the increasing metal of their last two albums.

However I know that hardcore fans were disappointed and all I'm saying is that you can't really blame them because they saw a doom/death band becoming an alternative/gothic act with pop orientations. It's always possible that commercial reasons could have led them to change direction.

I for one, couldn't care less.
That's exactly what I'm implying in the last sentence of the review anyway.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2012



5987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The eponymous song is fantastic.

The whole record is awesome too.

lostforwords
March 4th 2012



445 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed.
My favorite songs here are Isolate and No celebration

FadeToBlack
April 20th 2012



10913 Comments


this is erased

ksoflas
January 1st 2014



360 Comments


Solid album as your review.
Pos'd.

Egarran
March 17th 2014



258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've had Isolate on the mind lately, it's so Rammsteiny.



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