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Music Review

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Artist: Paradise Lost
Label: Nuclear Blast
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 15 May 2020

Nuclear Blast releases Obsidian, the 16th album by home-grown Goth/Death/Doom Metal band Paradise Lost. They were formed in Halifax in 1988 and have since produced a string of ground-breaking records, including Gothic, Draconian Times, and Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us. 32 years later they are still going strong, with an ever-growing fan support. The current line-up consists of Greg Mackintosh on guitar, Nick Holmes on vocals, Aaron Aedy on rhythm guitar, Stephen Edmondson on bass guitar, and Waltteri Vayrynen on drums...

We begin with 'Darker Thoughts', which has an acoustic opening with quiet typically English vocals and even strings. I love the stepped jump into a heavy full band Goth sound – moderately-paced with growled vocals. There is a sort of bridge with almost New Romantic-sounding vocals, before we are back into the meat and gristle of the song. There is a guitar solo which fits perfectly, and a melancholy feel to the final moments. 'Fall From Grace' has a simple but great guitar riff that leads us into a Doom piece, with clean Goth vocals and growled verses. A nice standard melody accompanies the entire song. The drums give the illusion of picking-up the pace around the halfway point. 'Ghosts' has drums and bass introduce a trebly guitar. The vocals in this one sound a little like Tiamat. This has some very nice varied sounds, and is quite original. It’s quite changeable at times. If this isn’t a single it should be. It’s much more upbeat – musically speaking – than many of the other tracks.

'The Devil Embraced' has acoustic guitar, piano and bass hint at a beginning, before being swept away by a deep and heavy vibe. This is maintained with nice drum patterns. The growled vocals fit perfectly, before turning to clean ones for the verses. There’s a short and light church organ effect, before we are dropped back into the song proper with a couple of nice guitar solos. 'Forsaken' opens angelically enough, but this is essentially a slow-paced heavy-as-they-come track. The pace picks-up, leading to a style and structure that would suit a single. 'Serenity' is guitar and drums accompanied by a melodic riff from the guitar. This hook gels the song together. Another favourite. The quiet, low bass of 'Ending Days' atmospherically takes us into the heavy impact of the chorus. The majority of this one is light, with a more traditional guitar solo. In 'Hope Dies Young', the guitar is high and almost bagpipe-like. Again, the song is very Tiamat in style – particularly the vocals – although Paradise Lose were here first. Probably the weakest in terms of versatility.

'Ravenghast' is a nice title. The opening inspires classic horror films (the song is about a battle), but then descends into Doom territory. The two guitars playing slightly different melodies produces a nice effect, which is somewhat spooky. The drums pick-up the pace for the solo. I love the atmosphere of this one. This could quite easily be used for the closing titles sequence of a horror movie. I was aware of Paradise Lost, and have heard some of their old produce, but have lost track over the last few years. It’s good to know that, although they’ve been operating for decades, they have lost none of their ability to impact on the scene, and can still be original within what is quite a densely-packed Metal sub-genre. This is a good bunch of songs, which I am sure will more than satisfy their loyal fanbase.


Ty Power

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