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Music Review

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At the Mill


Artist: Paradise Lost
Label: Nuclear Blast
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 16 July 2021

Nuclear Blast releases At the Mill, by home grown Goth Metal band Paradise Lost. After the success of their last studio album, Obsidian (which I reviewed in 2020), the band wanted to follow it up with a live album, but were unable to do so in the conventional sense due to a ban on live music during the COVID pandemic. So, they set up at The Mill Nightclub in Bradford, near the band’s hometown in Yorkshire and played a live set of tracks covering their entire three-decade career to no audience. Mixed by Les Smith and mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano, the album is available on vinyl and CD formats...

The opener, 'Widow', sounds out-of-odds with the rest of the set, sounding rough and ready – almost unpolished – a garage band feel. Of course, as you would expect from such an accomplished combo, there is a very mixed bag of material being uncovered for this sort of best-of collection. There are varied vocal styles (clean, growled and almost shouted), and fans of the band will know Paradise Lost has never been afraid to straddle genres. 'Fall From Grace' is a good example of their sound, with a nice guitar sound and a Doom backing. It incorporates both growled and clean vocals. The intro becomes a returned-to melody. Very nice. The song grows into itself.

'Blood and Chaos' is instantly likable. It’s more of a Pagan Metal song but speeded-up and more edgy and rasping. It’s a fantastic candidate for a single; a melody-driven slammer. Play it in the car and let everyone know how good it is. Excellent. I love the structure of the songs, which are very different but often drop a full band sound heavily during the chorus lines. A wall of layered sounds hits and slaps us around the face for good measure. There is a certain amount of experimentation in the introductions and verses, before segueing into a heavy chugging groove. To show contrast, 'Requiem' is a fantasy-type epic, whereas 'Gothic' is Viking-growled emulation of Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg.

Although all of the songs are counted in by the drummer within a disconcerting wall of silence, there is much to appreciate here. There really isn’t a duff track here, but my stand-out favourites are the aforementioned Blood and Chaos and Shadowkings, with its low-lying heavy melody, rasping vocals and very enjoyable long instrumental break. Darker Thoughts, from Obsidian, is a good way to see-out the set, too. You may think this is neither one or the other (studio or live album), but it stands proud as an anthology.


Ty Power

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