Paradise Lost are still finding ways to expand and embellish their musical map.
It’s amazing how after more than three decades a band manages to remain this relevant and ensure that every record is an entirely new experience. Sixteen albums later, Paradise Lost are still finding ways to expand and embellish their musical map of death, doom, gothic and dark metal in such a remarkable way that we continue to be surprised.
From the death/doom metal of “Gothic” to the dark/alt-metal of “Draconian Times” and “One Second”, the 2010 incarnation made a marked lean further toward the recovery of the roots that magnificently arose from offerings such as “Tragic Idol”, “The Plague Within” and “Medusa”, the latter released in 2017 and globally applauded for having the ability to blend the distinctive death metal and alt-metal sounds from Paradise Lost.
While the opening track “Darker Thoughts” is able to surprise with an orchestration supporting Nick Holmes’ mournful screams, “Fall From Grace” is the album’s doom metal standout, showcasing reminiscences from “Medusa” (2017) as if it has been left out and recovered three years later. With the following tracks, Paradise Lost burst into their trademark gothic rock sound without ever losing reference to the path they have chosen for “Obsidian”, and because nostalgia doesn’t stand still, “Forsaken” and “Hope Dies Young” grant us a return to the dark metal of the 1990s.
As the second half approaches, the Halifax crew stake their bets into one more mix of influences with “Obsidian”, a Paradise Lost-like record which reinstates the things they have done so well within their discography. And no, this is not a “Draconian Times” 2.0, much less a rejuvenated thought of what they have accomplished with “One Second”, especially because “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” more than any other illustrates the influences linked to the band’s new album.
“Obsidian” is a great and fluent album that will make you feel as if its 55 minutes of running time has just flown by. But here’s the cool thing about that: it just means that you can listen to it over and over again.