Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
Plague Within is the 14th studio album by the British gothic metal band Paradise Lost. The album was released on 1 June 2015, in Europe and 2 June 2015, in North America via Century Media Records. This album shows the band returning to their death-doom roots, mixed with elements of the gothic metal sound they are most known for. Regarding the musical direction of “The Plague Within”, Paradise Lost singer Nick Holmes said: “We wanted to approach the new album differently this time, by embracing the band’s VERY early days with the last few years.
The fourteenth album from Paradise Lost before its premiere was a big sensation because the musicians announced the return to playing death metal and to Nick Holmes growling. Especially the second announcement aroused interest among the fans because Nick didn’t sing in that form for more than 20 years. The departure from the growls in the 90s has explained the changes in the color of Nick’s voice and inability to release from the throat of extreme sounds. The fact that it was only a dimming, it was possible to convince in 2013 when succeeded Nick recreated growls for the needs of the Tragic Illusions compilation re-recording Gothic and Our Savior. In 2014, he succeeded in putting on growls on the album Grand Morbid Funeral of the Swedish Bloodbath. This made the people concerned to be calm about the vocal level of The Plague Within. Few people, however, expected such a good and interesting record in terms of music.
Compositionally this is still very much within the borders of standard for death/doom/gothic metal, but there’s just a bit more to the performances and recording that means I’m not utterly bored out of my mind. Everything except the vocals and some lead guitars sounds fantastic, and even the vocals reach a nice timbre that reminds me of a lot of Mastodon’s semi-harsh vocals. Tracks like “An Eternity of Lies” see Paradise Lost playing some captivating riffs and melodies, and there are a handful of pieces here that are definitely not bad, but the album genre to my ears just feels like it’s fighting the cliches of its own genre. The songs are predictable and at times pretty damn corny, it’s only saved by some great performances and a couple of good pieces. On the whole, though this is pretty insignificant, and I do feel that this style of classic doom metal is on the way out because while this is one of the best I have heard in this style in recent times, it’s still not very captivating.
The reason why this album sounds rather natural is probably that it took quite some time for this band to compose it and release it. Most fans do hate their Host period, even though it was not horrible at all, but rather a heavy departure that could cost them their career. However, I would not consider it a sell-out attempt, as the influences from that album were bleeding obvious on the previous releases as well. My point is that they truly avoided being sell-outs by not going back to the roots with the successor of Host. The gang took their time, progressed one step at a time, firstly leaving the electronic influences behind, then embracing a more modern gothic metal approach, and here we are today with this throwback to the 90s. The Plague Within is the fruit of musical evolution.
All in all, Plague Within is pretty damn good. After listening to the CD 4-5 times now, I wanted to truly give it enough time before making a review. The Plague Within lineup also includes full drums by Adrian Erlandsson. I actually became a Paradise Lost fan in early 2000 when I came across the album, “Isolate” after looking for other bands. From there I began with the current and listened to the past records and I absolutely loved them all. So building up through stages and years of music development from a band that’s been around for over 20 years. It’s hard to stamp any kind of shit review on them, especially when the band had flirted with genres from Heavy Metal, Doom to Classical and Electronica. This album fills a lot of the band’s classic doom sound as well as a new matured one. Either way, it’s a pretty good album that I think you’ll enjoy as well.
Artist: Paradise Lost
Album: The Plague Within
Released: June 2, 2015
Label: Century Media
Producer: Jaime Gomez Arellano
Genre: Gothic / Doom / Death Metal, Gothic Rock
Website: Official Website
Discs: 1 dis
Reviewed by: Mad Hatter
Our Rating: 3.8 /5
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