Paradise Lost - The Plague Within

Paradise Lost - The Plague Within

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(CD/LP, Century Media, 2015)

No matter how heavy is the music or how distorted and evil is the singing, if there is no feeling involved, then everything goes down the drain. Just like many bands in the past, PARADISE LOST have been caught into the trap of having the fans dictating (or trying extremely hard) how the music that the musicians write should be. You see, only the fans have the liberty to grow and occasionally change their taste in music, but if a band does the same, then it’s an anathema. To cut a long story short, I don’t give a damn if Nick Holmes started to growl again in “The Plague Within” because it wouldn’t be enough to compensate the lack of inspiration.

The strongest asset of “The Plague Within” is being an inspired album with a suffocating atmosphere and occasional minimalistic song structures that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up. Just pay attention to the down-tuned riff that lifts the curtain but keeps the lights dimmed to the point of darkness and the way it lets Nick give you goosebumps grunting “No hope insight / daylight before them dies”. And then you have a handful of PARADISE LOST trademark elements from the guitar riffs, the Doom-tuned rhythm guitars, the natural sounding and the simple drum groove. The sense of decay captured in the amazing cover artwork has crept inside the music (or is it the other way around) with songs like “Terminal” (amazing riff) or “Punishment Through Time”, absorbing all the light and then embrace darkness in the way “Draconian Times” or even “Icon” did some decades ago. One should be careful though, because I am not saying that the British band has stepped back to recreate something that happened under different circumstances and time. And this is because Gregor Mackintosh is on even darker paths with VALLENFYRE, and his riffs are dipped in Sludge, being low-tuned to death and spirit crushing all the way. “Beneath Broken Earth” will shatter every hope, with a funeral-slow drumming, growls filled with pain and a bass sound which is consistent with the current Doom Metal scene. It’s amazing how the guitar slowly riff lurks from behind and into the frontline of the mix, making me think that PARADISE LOST are redefining themselves presenting high quality Doom/Death Metal in a stripped to bare bones form. The guitars grab the reigns in the faster but still ton-heavy “Cry Out” and please keep your neck warm because during the solo, it is headbanging time; awesome stuff. And if all this is not enough, “Return To The Sun” comes with some orchestrations and adds more shades of grey into the pessimistic looking glass the Brits have taught us to love from day one of their discographic adventures.

Being totally aware that I may come as blasphemer (but according to my aesthetics), “The Plague Within” is the best album PARADISE LOST have written. It feels like all the elements that led this band to the present artistic status have flourished, matured and embraced the darkness everyone keeps feeding deep inside. Can you look straight to the eye the plague within? Then let the needle fall onto the wax and watch it carve your soul deep... you’ve been warned.

10/10


Links:

www.ParadiseLost.Co.Uk
www.MySpace.Com/ParadiseLostUk
www.FaceBook.Com/ParadiseLostOfficial
www.Twitter.Com/OfficialPL


Tracklist:

01. No Hope In Sight
02. Terminal
03. An Eternity Of Lies
04. Punishment Through Time
05. Beneath Broken Earth
06. Sacrifice The Flame
07. Victim Of The Past
08. Flesh From Bone
09. Cry Out
10. Return To The Sun


Lineup:

Stephen Edmondson - Bass
Gregor Mackintosh - Guitar, Keyboards
Aaron Aedy - Guitar
Nick Holmes - Vocals
Adrian Erlandsson - Drums