Paradise Lost
Medusa


3.5
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
September 2nd, 2017 | 112 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Still going strong but where do Paradise Lost go from here?

Paradise Lost is one of those rare/brave cases of a band that defined and redefined their music, themselves, a whole generation of musicians and probably an entire decade. In an era where grunge was (for a good reason) a refuge and a voice for an entire generation of youth, their doom and gloom appeared to those who weren’t willing to go down the checkered-shirt road. Icon introduced them to a larger audience and Draconian Times was the younger emo sibling of The Black Album. And like every good younger sibling, it admired so much its brother that went out and got a haircut, declared its love for Depeche Mode and in the process alienated a large number of fans while influencing (again) its contemporaries. Just listen how acts like Theatre of Tragedy, The Gathering, Tiamat, and Amorphis, among others, evolved their sound after the release of Load and One Second. This is not to say that the aforementioned albums were directly influenced by Metallica and Paradise Lost but when you come to think of how Load and One Second impacted the music industry, you start to understand their respective weight.

Now you may wonder how all the above ties up with Paradise Lost’s present but if history has taught us anything, is that it somehow repeats itself. Therefore, if Icon and One Second were both – besides groundbreaking albums – shifts in sound, I expect Medusa to be one too because it certainly feels like the most significant of The Peaceville Three have finally come full circle (unless they pull a new Lost Paradise on us, in which instance prepare to re-read the above rant in a few years).

Medusa’s death/doom roots can be traced back to Gothic and Shades of God and if we want to compare it to something more modern, it would be “Beneath Broken Earth” from The Plague Within. Overall though, the British outfit’s latest offering is heavier, darker, more depressive and more guitar-centered than their 2015 release. However, the LP is not a complete throwback as there are tracks which nod to their Draconian Times/Icon-era such as the uptempo “Blood and Chaos” or “The Longest Winter” which again differentiates itself slightly from the album’s formula. Nick Holmes is once more using his death growls with some clean singing mostly towards the end of songs, which is one of the elements that make “Medusa” one of the standout tracks along with the brilliant guitar work and the majestic atmosphere. “Fearless Sky” is not only the longest track in Paradise Lost’s discography but also one of the heavier the band has written and serves as a very promising introduction to the album’s suffocating abyss.

Nevertheless, as solid as Medusa may be, it lacks something that would add to its replay value and that is memorable songs and more hooks. The Plague Within was full of them and this is the reason that it was such a successful effort. In addition, succeeding such a solid predecessor is always a hard task. That is not to say that the Halifax outfit’s new LP is weak or dull and those who love their doom/death side are in for a treat, but a slightly increased emphasis on melody and a stronger gothic flavor would certainly help.



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user ratings (127)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
Medusa may continue the talking points that got the most attention on The Plague Within but it’s d...

Chamberbelain (4)
Maturing like a fine wine bursting with flavours of doom, gloom and melancholy....


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2017


10649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very rusty but had a blast writing after so long.

Digging: Legendry - Dungeon Crawler

AnimalsAsSummit
September 2nd 2017


2995 Comments


good review. now go and listen to clan of xymox's 'medusa'

EvoHavok
September 2nd 2017


7310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ohh, what a comeback!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2017


10649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Always nice to see you, Evo! Apologies for the rant-ish write up but I needed it.

BlackwaterPork
September 2nd 2017


2418 Comments


Definitely agree with your points about replay value, great review.

Digging: Onyx - All We Got Iz Us

ksoflas
September 2nd 2017


1187 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid review such as the album.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2017


10649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really appreciate it guys.

ChaoticVortex
September 2nd 2017


511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

After a couple of listens I do agree that this more of a mash-up of their different styles rather than the next step in the evolution. Which brings up the question the headline.

Great reviewm by the way.

Flugmorph
September 2nd 2017


17562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i can totally subscribe to your closing paragraph there

Tunaboy45
September 2nd 2017


15659 Comments


Loved reading this man, always have time for Paradise Lost and looking forward to hearing it.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2017


7636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

Spot on review, correct rating (3.3+ for me atm), and I agree with the arguments about replay value.



Arrangements are trimmed so heavily in terms of melody, and twists and turns, that album feels bare-bones, and not always in a good way.

Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2017


17312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

I'm not a huge fan. Probably one of my least favorite PL albums.



manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2017


10649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you for the kind words guys.

Egarran
September 3rd 2017


4326 Comments


I'll have you know I had a checkered shirt AND listened to PL.

Also I want to hear more about how Load influenced the music industry.

Digging: Sanctuary - Refuge Denied

InFlamesWeThrash666
September 3rd 2017


7080 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fearless Sky is my SOTY so far. Album is more of a 3.5 but that track doesn't allow me to bump down my rating

Digging: Aetherian - The Untamed Wilderness

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2017


10649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nothing wrong about that Eg dude. I didn't have a checkered shirt but jammed Nevermind on a regular basis.



In terms of how Load influenced the scene, I'd say that it removed a huge amount of guilt from experimentation and playing less heavy stuff. I mean, if Metallica can do it and alienate their fanbase anyone can do it too. That and drawing a lot of '70s influences which wasn't so widespread as today back then even though bands like Monster Magnet, Spiritual Beggars, etc. were doing it.



Agreed InFlames, one of my favorites from this year as well.

Egarran
September 3rd 2017


4326 Comments


Cool, thanks. Never saw that angle before.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2017


10649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh, just my two cents but I may talking out of my ass. I'd love to read some other opinions as well.

Egarran
September 3rd 2017


4326 Comments


Well, among other things, I'm ignorant on the mainstreaming of metal, so I believe it all.

deslad
September 3rd 2017


600 Comments


Great review manos, I'm not sure I'll give this one a listen though



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