May 27

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within (2015)



For the last 27 years Paradise Lost have become one of the main contributors to the gothic metal sound, they were there when all started, side by side with Type O Negative, Tiamat, Moonspell, and so on. They are the reason many of us love this genre, and embrace darkness, melancholy and sorrow just as brighter emotions are well received by the rest of the population, thanks to Paradise Lost‘s music we are able to embrace those less popular emotions.

Now, after 25 years since the release of Lost Paradise (1990), Paradise Lost returns with their 14th studio album titled, The Plague Within. This record is not less gothic than their predecessor, Tragic Idol (2012), but indeed is way more raw, heavier, and more doomy than anything they have done recently. It might be because Greg Mackintosh created Vallenfyre and some of that spilled into this album, or perhaps because Nick Holmes is also the new vocalist of Bloodbath, and that might have spilled into The Plague Within as well. But, one thing is clear is that this record breaks apart from what they have done so far.

The Plague Within opens with No Hope In Sight, a song loaded with dense riffs, and a semi-growiling vocal style that pretty much it will bring you back to some of their early works, the mix with clean vocals gives texture and diversity to the song, it’s the Paradise Lost we know, but is getting on steroids at times. Terminal, comes across as a more traditional Paradise Lost song, once again the growling vocals add an extra kick to the song, it’s like it gets an enhancement of some sort every time that Nick growls. An Eternity Of Lies is one of the soft ones within the album, really dark and doomy, with a classical gothic touch, the guitar work put on this song by Greg is just surreal, a real soul crushing song indeed.

Punishment Through Time, is easily the most dense and doomy song in the whole album, is like they went all Black Sabbath on gothic metal, the riff of this song are just pure delight, they are catchy, heavy, and the more raw, really good stuff. Beneath The Broken Earth was the first single released out of this album, and is dark & raw as fuck, you can’t even tell that this is a Paradise Lost song, the drum work, and the riffs are so dense, direct and viceral that would make you think that this is something else, but not this is Paradise Lost with a hint of Bloodbath and Vallenfyre on the side. Without doubt one of the best songs of the album.

Sacrifice The Flame, has a solemn beginning, and then it goes full Paradise Lost doomy style with Nick going back and forth between clean and growling vocals. I think what I like more about this song is Adrian‘s slow drumming, and how he gets the textures that fit this song so perfectly on place. Victim Of The Past, start with a more traditional gothic approach, but still not leaving the doom context yet, which make it compliant with the rest of the album, It’s interesting to see how this elements fits so well with Paradise Lost‘s trademarks sound. Flesh From Bone, has a strange and eerie tone, the guitar sounds is quite dense, and raw that throws you into Black Metal territory, It’s like all of a sudden the band goes ‘Immortal‘ style on this album. An interesting song and one of the heaviest within the record.

Cry Out, moves into a more bluesy style, quite catchy and more rock & roll, a really fun song, even though Paradise Lost tries to keep it heavy and dark, the riffs on this song are more melodic than anything else within this album. Return To The Sun closes the album on a solemn note filled with heavy distortions and more faithful to the bands’ style, but with a bit of the elements the band already used through the album,

I think what people in general can get out of this album is how dark, dense and doomy it is, but all those elements orbit around Paradise Lost‘s sound, and enrich the album, is like an injection of dense darkness that results on a more heavy and thick sound. Definitely one of the heaviest gothic metal records I have listened this year. Mackintosh & Holmes channeled their outside work on this record on a rightful way. Without a doubt this could be one of the best album of the year, absolutely brilliant.

5 out of 5 Rating: ★★★★★



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

Genre: Gothic Metal

Record Label: Century Media Records

Playing Time: 50 Minutes

Line Up:

Nick Holmes – Vocals
Greg Mackintosh – Lead Guitar
Aaron Aedy – Rhythm Guitar
Steve Edmondson – Bass Guitar
Adrian Erlandsson – Drums


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