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paradiselost theplaguewithin
Artist: Paradise Lost
Title: The Plague Within
Genre: Death / Doom Metal
Release Date: 1st June 2015
Label: Century Media

Album Review

PARADISE LOST can boast to be an influential band within Metal as not only they were essential to development of Doom Metal but also pioneered Gothic Metal. They were never afraid to expand their boundaries and a fling with electronic genre alienated some of their fan base as some metal heads had problem with band being influenced by CANDLEMASS, BLACK SABBATH but also DEPECHE MODE. However, the steerage was set with comeback to their home-sound, which was especially achieved with their last album ‘Tragic Idol’, where the classical Doom Metals roots revisited were married to the classical of Heavy Metal and the band turned out another defining album. Now their fourteenth ‘The Plague Within’ is about to hit we can try to see how they’ve set to push the envelope again.

Greg Mackintosh calls it as a “marmite album”. If you loved the penultimate album you’d certainly love the marmitidness of this. The album is more refined; where the new take comes in is an attempt to blur the lines between harmonies and rhythms. Another yet, is a slowest song they’ve ever created called ‘Beneath Broken Earth’ (released on YouTube already). It's a monster of a doom song, where Holmes’s growling the line of “you wish to die” is nearly hypnotic. Mentioned, it sounds morbid, but the line and the song have the opposite effect.  Also it includes the fastest song of their career ‘Flesh From Bone’, it’s probably more accurate to say that there are indeed some fastest passages that give a nod to Speed Metal with some great guitar solos to kick; moments of disorientation and reflection aplenty to make the song stand out from the orthodoxy of expectation. Whereas ‘Tragic Idol’ put away the Gothic Metal sound in the cupboard, here it gets its moments to shine too, most pronouncedly in ‘Sacrifice The Flame’. It is through these moments the album reaches melancholy, a fragile beauty. Indeed, the inclusion of it as well as a more pronounced melodic approach makes this capable of squaring up to the peak they reached with ‘Tragic Idol’ and reaching further.

Another element the band sought, and openly so, is the prevalence of the Death Metal influence. With the last album a lot of focus was on cohesion, there’s more of a free approach here, an exploratory feel of “what are we now?”; how all the elements that made them matured over the time? Yet that is not to say that it lacks a clear sense of direction, not by any means. It’s obvious that even the more freed roughness has had a great deal of attention given to it; the visceral kick it gives is no less powerful than before but lingers on. Philosophically it’s in tune with the bands rather grim view of the world and the way it’s going but interestingly the stability of their band line up is anchored by good friendships kept together by a keen sense of humour. Also what has always remained important for the band is to be lyrically less pinned down by a story but poetic prompt and openness to interpretation, which means it doesn’t hammer their views on you in a preachy way some are guilty of.

Twenty seven years later PARADISE LOST are still ambitious to make their unique mark; in words of Mackintosh "We deliberately went down a different route, where we want it to sound like no one else in metal. Whether we've achieved that, I have no idea until everyone hears it." The answer is yes and no. The problem can be stated in simple terms; many feel that marmite is a product that shouldn’t be. Edgy as a marmite... who‘d have thought so... It won’t alienate their fans in the same way their electro-headed albums did, but some will denounce it nonetheless for being too leftfield of Metal, a too rich fusion for the purists. I, for one, will not be amongst the naysayers but those who commend it.


01. No Hope In Sight - 4:54
02. Terminal - 4:28
03. An Eternity Of Lies - 5:58
04. Punishment Through Time - 5:13
05. Beneath Broken Earth - 6:09
06. Sacrifice The Flame - 4:42
07. Victim Of The Past - 4:29
08. Flesh From Bone - 4:19
09. Cry Out - 4:31
10. Return To The Sun - 5.44


Nick Holmes - vocals
Greg Mackintosh - lead guitar
Aaron Aedy - rhythm guitar
Steve Edmondson - bass guitar
Adrian Erlandsson - drums

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Cover Picture

paradiselost theplaguewithin


Music: 9
Sound: 10
Total: 9.5 / 10

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