Paradise Lost - 'Medusa' Album Review
1. Fearless Sky
2. Gods Of Ancient
3. From The Gallows
4. The Longest Winter
6. No Passage For The Dead
7. Blood And Chaos
8. Until The Grave
Paradise Lost are a Gothic Metal band who have been around longer than I have been alive! And getting to listen to their latest album 'Medusa' has been an amazing experience! I have never listened to this band much before, which I am extremely sorry about – I genuinely feel like I’ve deprived myself, and I can safely say I have had my eyes opened to some excellent Gothic Metal music. Paradise Lost know exactly what they are doing, aren’t afraid to showcase it and from looking at their tour volume and album releases they are definitely taking the music world in their hands.
Now going back to their latest release, 'Medusa' features some clever album artwork. The cover features what can only be described as the best way to interpret Medusa in a Metal way without completely scrapping the Greek Mythology from her. Surrounded by her snakes, Medusa bows her head whilst grasping a sword which is all cleverly orientated round a circle design in the centre of the album front. The typeface is then very Gothic Metal. Featuring harsh line work and simple placement the typeface really pulls the Greek Mythology into the Gothic Metal world of music. All in all this piece of artwork is simple yet very affective, as it enlightens you to a small snippet of what you are going to get yourself in for by listening to the album.
The music you are greeted with when this album begins is something incredible. The Paradise Lost guys definitely know what they are doing. Metal bands typically feature distortion, metallic sounding lead, lots of cymbals and deep, loud, booming drums. Vocals tend to be a range of either (or all) of deep screams to higher pitch vocals, with the mixture of softer sounding backing. With Paradise Lost you get all of the above and more! Their music has some depth to it that just emphasises that they are a Gothic Metal band. There's harsh vocals mixed with gentler yet just as deep soft vocals. The use of distorted rhythm and metallic lead are very important within the Metal genre, and the slower tempo you hear with the rhythm and lead is key to this bands portrayal of Gothic Metal. By doing this they are not only showcasing their amazing guitar skills, they are also building suspence and tension which is very key within the Gothic world as that helps with the illusion. Gothic Metal is all about illusion, tempo and drama. And by slowing the riffs down and having deep dramatic sounds mixed with the harshness of the lead with the electric strings snapping against the body of the guitar really helps produce the setting of the vibe. Adding lots of cymbal work, that isn't harsh or heavily hit with the hefty beats produced by the drums of the kit, the instrumental side of the music ticks of the boxes required and more.
My favourite tracks on the album are;
'Gods Of Ancient' - The track starts with some amazing lead and rhythm riffs, that builds the foundation of the track. Adding the addition of some heavy drum beats, the instrumental start allows you to appreciate the talent and the skill that is tucked away in this band. As well as provide a key piece of the track, by allowing the tune itself to be showcased so beautifully and untouched. When the vocals begin we are fastly thrown into the Gothic Metal world, as the harsh vocals really separate yet bring the piece together. Which is a very hard thing to accomplish yet is done so effortlessly. The lyrics are exactly what I wanted to hear with a title as definitive as 'Gods Of Ancient'. The track overall is amazingly put together, features so many aspects of the Metal, Gothic Metal and Rock world, and captures you in the moment.
'Medusa' - Being the title track I expected a lot from this one, and starting it off with piano and bass it is the drama builder I wanted it to be. When listening to this track you cant help but visualise the album artwork, and honestly it just ties it all up nicely! The vocals are both harsh, and soft yet both are deep and mysterious. The lead guitars strings produces some killer tune and reflects banging metallic sounds, which are all down to the hands of skilled playing. The drums are deep and booming, yet not as harsh as you would expect from a Metal band. But it works nicely with the vocals as despite featuring some harsher vocals, they are quite tame. The rhythm within this track displays some low toned chords, that beautiful contrast against the lead due to the distortion.
All in all this album is killing it, so much so I went digging through the archives to find Paradise Lost's previous work and other albums. I definitely havent been made to regret my choice of breaking out of my comfort zone, or for being more adventurous. These guys are amazing, I cant wait to hear more from them and honestly, I can't wait to drag my mates to mine and make them experience this greatness.
Website - www.paradiselost.co.uk
Review - Leanne Gibson