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paradiselost obsidian
Artist: Paradise Lost
Title: Obsidian
Genre: Gothic Rock / Gothic Metal
Release Date: 15th May 2020
Label: Nuclear Blast

Album Review

The show I was most looking forward to this spring was the PARADISE LOST show at Vienna Metal Meeting 2020. I knew their latest release ‘Obsidian’ would be released on May 15th and their gig on May 16th would have been the perfect chance to hear some of the new songs live. The day Vienna Metal Meeting was cancelled I was mor than upset, but NUCLEAR BLAST had a nice surprise for me and so the waiting was over and the author more than happy with ‘Obsidian’.

‘Darker Thoughts’ is the perfect opener for a new album. It offers a gentle start with strings in the background and Nick Holmes on vocals in a clear and gentle voice. Slowly more voices appear in the background until growls mark a change and the songs becomes mid-tempo and prone to up-tempo when the band joins in. The long guitar solo shows that we are talking Metal while Goth and Doom elements show up once in a while and shows plenty of styles PARADISE LOST made their own the past 30 years. It’s definitely not a typical PARADISE LOST song and that makes you curious for what will follow next.

‘Fall From Grace’ sounds a bit like it was originally written for the bands previous album ‘Medusa’ for the sound is dark and doomy. The chorus is in clear voice and invites to a sorrowful sing-along, while the main vocals are performed in growls. PARADISE LOST stopped using growls for a while and they only saw their comeback on ‘Medusa’, the add perfectly to the heavy doomy riffs in this song. The song has a line that was on my mind for several days “We’re all alone”, somehow the song feels like a soundtrack to the current situation.

‘Ghosts’ is my favourite song on ‘Obsidian’ and it strongly appeals to my Goth side and I guess, if the clubs were open, it would get the people on the dancefloor and those who loved ‘Host’ will be reminded of this amazing Goth release. PARADISE LOST combine the strong guitar line with a cool dark and Goth vibe while the drum and rhythm parts are heavy, and tempo and sound gets heavier towards the end and for those who love metal it might be the moment, they start to like the song.

‘The Devil embraced’ is the longest song on this album, but it never gets boring. The intro is dominated by piano and organ sounds. The vocals are performed in clear voice and if you listen close, you will find the dark and gloomy elements in the background. Growls and thundering instruments give you the impression you’re facing Doomsday and the headbangers in the crowd might face a sore neck the other day. A brilliant guitar solo will appeal to the air-guitar player, darkness and lighter motives alternate during the whole song and the vocals are very intriguing, the line “I’m tired of dreams, I’m tired of almost anything” might be on your mind for a while.

‘Forsaken’ has an interesting intro which is dominated by choir elements and Nick’s clear-voice until the song starts getting straight forward although the instruments remain in the background they are pretty heavy but clearly audible. The chorus makes the song a perfect one for the live shows as it invites the crowd to take over the line “We are all forsaken”. ‘Serenity’ is anything but slow. This song brings back the Doom and Metal, Nick Holmes vocals are on their darkest side and you should listen close, to find all the brilliant drums and guitar elements in the background. The middle of the song has a brilliant atmospheric aspect, gives you a short break to brace yourself for an end that is full of mist, darkness and Doom.

‘Ending Days’ is a perfect Goth ballad but not kitschy. Somehow the song is not a typical PARADISE LOST song, as well as the opener. This time, it seems, that someone listened to classical music a lot, while writing the song. The guitar intro gives you a clue, that PARADISE LOST are not only a Metal band but know their Goth as well. Nick’s clear voice underlines the emotions and the lyrics have death as their main topic and this time the guitars and rhythm section make it a very melodic song, that you cannot find on any of the bands previous releases. The chorus and the strings add perfectly to the emotional aspects of the song and make it one of the best songs of this album.

‘Hope Dies Young’ is a perfect Goth track. While the intro is in clear voice and light coming to the instrumental aspects, the song soon changes to a dark and gothic atmosphere, that is supported by dark and Goth vocal elements. ‘Ravenghast’ is marked by some typical PARADISE LOST elements. The start is atmospheric with piano, then it gets dark and doomy, nearly depressing until a shrieking guitar marks a change. The Highlight is the chorus in clear voice. A track full of surprises.

‘Obsidian’ proves, that PARADISE LOST are always moving forward, without denying their legacy. Nick Holmes effortless switches between growls and clean singing, always in perfect pace with the guitar and the rhythm section and knows how to layer his voice with the instruments, making his voice one of them. Stephen Edmondson’s bass lines are always punishing and perfectly fit with Waltteri Väyrynen’s fierce drum lines. Aaron Aedy and Greg Mackintosh once more work magic on this album, heavy riffs, luscious guitarwork and brilliant solos give every song a unique touch and sometimes remind you of one of the great songs of previous releases.

‘Obsidian’ is the perfect merge of PARADISE LOST’s Metal and Goth, an album for those who loves the band's Death and Doom past as well of those who prefer their Goth side an album written for all their fans no matter if their roots are in Metal or in Goth. If you want to hear the whole album live, you can buy a special bundle, that comes with a ticket for the release show.


01. Darker Thoughts
02. Fall From Grace
03. Ghosts
04. The Devil Embraced
05. Forsaken
06. Serenity
07. Ending Days
08. Hope Dies Young
09. Ravenghast


Nick Holmes - Vocals
Greg Mackintosh - Lead guitar
Aaron Aedy - Rhythm guitar
Steve Edmondson - Bass guitar
Waltteri Väyrynen - Drums

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Cover Picture

paradiselost obsidian


Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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