Originally written by Patrick Dawson
Honesty is a trait I appreciate in a reviewer. If Joe over at OmfgMetalRawks.com is upfront with me concerning his lack up knowledge on a band or genre before he describes the album in question to me, I certainly feel less inclined to flood his inbox with fiery hate mail. That being said, I would come off looking like quite the dickhead if I feigned expertise in the field of Paradise Lost. The draw of tragic gloom and doom soaked Gothic Rock eludes me. I was in high school once, and I blew some things out of proportion that in hindsight were not really worth getting depressed or bent out of shape over but even in those days I couldn’t identify with this level of angst and perpetual sadness.
Paradise Lost exist in my mind muddled somewhere among bands like Tiamat and Sentenced. Categorized as groups that at one time wrote forgettable Death Metal before moving on to a more substantial era in their careers playing music I do not enjoy. One certainly can not begrudge them the stylistic deviation. In the early days on the modest Peaceville debut Lost Paradise, their approach to Death Metal seemed clumsy and sophomoric. Nick Holmes’ vocal chords lacked the wherewithal for sustained growling and his gravelly voice is much better suited to the heavy handed choruses the band’s guitarists seem more comfortable composing. Sometimes giving up the gritty underground dream and admitting you are a pop band is the way to go. C’est la vie.
Fast forward more than a decade to find me in possession of these English balladeer’s self titled 2005 offering Paradise Lost; the title I assume, is intended to draw a nostalgic connection to their first outing 10 full length recordings prior. My only experience with the band during those lost years was a brief encounter with Draconian Times and of that album I will say that while the band certainly succeed in the creation of a mood the technique they use to achieve it does not enthrall me in the least. The same can be said of the latest recording and in fact it may even disappoint fans of Paradise Lost’s middle catalogue because it lacks the thread of Industrial sound which briefly spiced things up around the time of Icon and Draconian. The songs on this self titled album are, in simple English, not creative. The guitar patterns throughout stay focused on a very limited collection of minor chords and do little to branch outside the slow strumming and staccato chugs which dominate the majority of runtime. The end result is that the album is largely forgettable because each song seeks only to create the same mood of somber depression where the only noteworthy events are summed up in a few piano countermelodies and female vocal flashes. Though their vocal hooks may be powerful and catchy choruses clearly aim to numb the brain, these mandatory staples of popular song structure are expected and cannot redeem such a dull album.