Paradise Lost
Medusa


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (212 Reviews)
September 1st, 2017 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maturing like a fine wine bursting with flavours of doom, gloom and melancholy.

What's to be said about doom that hasn't been said yet" The genre has crawled out from the darkness and the popularity of it has sparked numerous respectable bands and plenty of forgettable ones. Nevertheless, there are always those few bands rooted so deep into the genre that the appearance they settle with in doom metal appears to be their natural state. Releasing their 15th album since their formation in 1988, Halifax, England's Paradise Lost is one of the godfathers of the genre, fluctuating between doom, gothic and synth rock throughout their almost 30-year career.

The band’s previous album, ”The Plague Within”, featured loads of twisting and turning riffs in each song to keep the momentum going; “Medusa” reveals Paradise Lost focusing on extracting as much emotion out of a certain aspect as possible, such as elongating a riff or stretching a note or holding a scream just a few crucial seconds longer. Due to these extended aspects, at multiple occasions over the course of “Medusa”, Paradise Lost does tend to drag you along with the ebbing melancholic lethargy- like being turned to stone as the album’s namesake suggests. The slow title track particularly feels longer than it is or should be, as it pulls you into the dense depression. Luckily, the band always unleashes a new rhythm or hook to snap you out this fatigue.

That’s not to say this album isn’t dynamic. One of the core features of “Medusa” are the riffs it contains and Gregor Mackintosh frequently injects adrenalized riffing and sinking grooves into the murky bloodstream of Paradise Lost. They dictate the feel of each song, the direction in which the rhythm follows and the pace in which it travels. Moreover, describing the tone of the guitars on this album as ‘clear’ or ‘pristine’ would degrade the forlorn aura that they produce. However, there is that sense of crispness in this album’s production that amplifies how lively the band can make the grimmer songs like the trampling “Gods of Ancient” or the domineering “From the Gallows” sound. As well as enhancing Nick Holmes’s imposing vocal presence through torturously sluggish riffs, animated songs such as “Blood and Chaos” and “Until the Grave” have a more rock-infused touch to them, establishing Paradise Lost’s grim, dominant attitude through both slow rhythms and faster bursts or energy. If you’re a fan of anything Gaz Jennings (Cathedral, Death Penalty) has ever laid hands on then this is an album for you.

Additionally, the melodies that Paradise Lost churn out also assist in shaping the atmosphere of “Medusa”. Simply put: the whole album sounds grim- as if someone has painted various shades of grey over a black canvas to try and lighten it up a bit. “Fearless Sky” -the first track- instantly establishes this overcast tone by creating a bewitching atmosphere through paranoid melodies, slothful riffs and churchlike organ. As the longest track on the album, it also features Nick Holmes’ clean vocals, which emerge regularly on the album, to expand the band’s melancholic, gothic (melangothic") characteristics. Clean, high-spirited vocals emerge through the blizzard of trudging bass, blanketed by biting melodies and wearisome riffs during “The Longest Winter” that create a lonesome, sorrowful tone. This cleaner atmosphere reappears prominently on “Shrines”, where downcast vocals, chiming melodies and undulating bass calmly washes away feelings of cheerlessness that “Medusa” so effortlessly projects.

Ordinarily, when a seasoned band releases an album which is of the same calibre as their more youthful days, the go-to closing quote is: ‘this band show no signs of slowing down’. However, given the sluggish tempo of this album, on this occasion, it would be more prudent to rather say that after fifteen albums, Paradise Lost shows absolutely no signs of stopping. “Medusa” is yet another album that continues to carry the doom-laden titans onwards and upwards, just in their own deliberate time.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackwaterPork
September 1st 2017


4390 Comments


Nice review, I like that they went back to their roots on this one.

Flugmorph
September 1st 2017


20869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didn't dug this album for the first 5 or so spins

at least not as much as their last 3 albums

Digging: La Dispute - Panorama

SpiritCrusher2
September 1st 2017


6116 Comments


I thought it was great on my first couple of listens, but it doesn't really have much replay value for me

ChaoticVortex
September 1st 2017


765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, gonna jam to this today.

JWT155
September 1st 2017


14355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

New Paradise Lost, today is a good day.

SpiritCrusher2
September 1st 2017


6116 Comments


it leaked like a month ago

EvoHavok
September 1st 2017


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'Tis a good day anyway.

JWT155
September 1st 2017


14355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

IDGAF about leaks, once it's on Spotify is all I care about.

Dunpeal
September 1st 2017


4185 Comments


quite right 'ol chap

Dedes
September 1st 2017


6349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"on this occasion, it would be more prudent to rather say that after fifteen albums, Paradise Lost shows absolutely no signs of stopping."

small lolz.

EvoHavok
September 2nd 2017


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2017/09/01/rank-defile-greg-mackintosh-orders-paradise-losts-records/

I can't agree at all with some placements (the debut has to be up there only due to the re-recorded "Frozen Illusion" and cuz the last two records reignited his death/doom passion, plus Tragic Idol is way too low), but it's nice to see this done.

InFlamesWeThrash666
September 2nd 2017


8841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Draconian Times though

Digging: Numenorean - Adore

ChaoticVortex
September 2nd 2017


765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very solid as expected from PL. I really like the variety in the songwriting: We have classic PL gothicism like The Longest Winter, a major doom epic with some scandinavian undertones and even a glimpse back to the Shades of God/Lost Paradise era with Frozen Illusion. Holmes's vocals and the production is ace.

Love this band.

EvoHavok
September 2nd 2017


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's worth noting that if you heard the leak, "Frozen Illusion" is just a straight copy of the song from the debut; the proper remake is on the Japanese release and should come as the last song in the tracklist.

AndroBoy
September 2nd 2017


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I never could get into their growls that much, and due to that, I thought Plague Within was very underwhelming and kind of boring, but for some reason, this one is clicking with me. The music is faster and much more atmospheric, and the growls actually work. I haven't loved an album this much in years.

Hawks
September 3rd 2017


69195 Comments


Fuck I gotta jam this like right now, forgot all about it tbh.

Digging: Hecate Enthroned - Embrace Of The Godless Aeon

EvoHavok
September 3rd 2017


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I find it a bit odd liking this and not Plague, which also had faster cuts like the 4th and 8th tracks and more variety overall, while this one focuses even more on the death/doom side.

Egarran
September 3rd 2017


9569 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NEGD.



"What's to be said about doom that hasn't been said yet?"



Don't start reviews this way.



"Ordinarily, when a seasoned band releases an album which is of the same calibre as their more youthful days, the go-to closing quote is: ‘this band show no signs of slowing down’. However, given the sluggish tempo of this album, on this occasion, it would be more prudent to rather say that after fifteen albums, Paradise Lost shows absolutely no signs of stopping."



Good lord.

AndroBoy
February 6th 2018


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's the fact that this sounds angry as fuck. Plague felt really slow and boring, and the vocals reflected that. The guitar work is really sludgy and hollow, whereas Medusa sounds crunchier and heavier.



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