Friday 15 May 2020

Album Review: PARADISE LOST - Obsidian

Paradise Lost - Obsidian

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
10. Hear The Night (Bonus track)
11. Defiler (Bonus track)

Paradise Lost are one of my all-time favourite bands. Their 1995 classic Draconian Times is one of the finest Metal albums of all time. Icon, One Second, and their Electronica album Host are all close behind, and are absolute masterpieces in their own right. A new album from these miserable Yorkshiremen is always welcome and straight on my shopping list. However, I'm not as keen on the more Death/Doom aspect of their repertoire. I still like it; I just prefer them with a massive injection of Goth. This is why I only 'liked' the last album, Medusa, as opposed to 'loved' it. Read my review of Medusa here.

Obsidian is similar to Medusa in many ways, but has some nice Goth elements in there. Nick Holmes' Death Metal growls are still mixed in with his clean vocals, and the guitar tones are still heavy, distorted filth. I do quite like that though, despite preferring the more polished sounds of their mid-nineties' records.

Personal preferences aside, there is no denying that Obsidian is a really strong album. How a band that has been around as long as Paradise Lost manages to keep releasing such creative, high-quality music is anyone's guess.

Ghosts is the best track on here. It's the obvious single and is relatively dance-floor friendly, without compromising any heaviness or grit for commercial slickness. There's certainly a Sisters of Mercy-meets-Fields of the Nephilim vibe about it, which hits all the right spots for me. It's certainly their best single for many years.

Other songs that stood out the most to me include the opener Darker Thoughts, which is like a cross between a ballad and something crunchy and miserable from the depths of Hell. It's full of texture and showcases a number of the bands styles all withing the one song. I also love the melodic Forsaken, and the melancholy Hope Dies Young.

Obsidian will go down well with fans who loved Medusa and The Plague Within as it is much more in that vein than in the commercial waters of days gone by. I like it a lot, but it's not even close to being as good as Draconian Times, Icon, One Second etc. having said that, I'm grateful that this band is still doing their thing. After all, they don't make records just for me, and there is plenty here to enjoy.


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