The guys in Paradise Lost did it again. Just when old timer fans enjoyed their semi "back-to-root" album, Tragic Idol (2012), the band changed their steer once again. Their 14th studio album called The Plague Within is yet another album that going to plague the fans-base with like it or hate it debate. The good news is, this new album still contained faint trace of their root from Draconian Times era. The reality is, majority of the materials is new sounds.
The first noticeable thing is the changes of vocals. Right from "No Hope In Sight", Nick Holmes has decided to put in heavier growl. Yes, as you heard it everywhere else, the vocals now is deathmetal-like. The song and ambiance itself can be said remained Paradise Lost in their '90s era, and some quite close to actually. "Terminal" is something of their catchy tunes. Stormy drums since the start. Once again it is the growl vocals that need to get adjusted by old timers. "An Eternity Of Lies" is where lies more new stuff. This one comes with almost equal division between growling and clean vocals. Something fits more correctly in their post-Draconian Times stuff. On their most dooming moment in the album, comes "Beneath Broken Earth" where the beat is doom slow. "Sacrifice The Flame" itself in turn, most mellow one, with cello sound and tragic sounding sings. The other surprise is in "Cry Out", they changed guitar distortion sounds too, to accommodate a more 'bluesy' riff in doom-death metal environment. There are still few bunch of songs where the band do their latest invention doom metal in the rest of album.
The Plague Within didn't sounds like the exact continuation from Tragic Idol. Where their previous seems like the resurrection of Paradise Lost classic era, The Plague Within is one more about creativity power. Once again die hard fans need to appreciated range of new ideas fit into their beloved Paradise Lost's doom metal. Objectively, there is enough old time stuff to celebrated, as in the first two songs. The rest is potential explored stuff, with bigger musical context.
Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten
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Paradise Lost - The Plague Within (2015)
1. No Hope In Sight
3. An Eternity Of Lies
4. Punishment Through Time
5. Beneath Broken Earth
6. Sacrifice The Flame
7. Victim Of The Past
8. Flesh From Bone
9. Cry Out
10. Return To The Sun
11. Fear Of Silence (bonus track, Deluxe Box format)
12. Never Look Away (bonus track, Deluxe Box format)
13. Victim Of The Past (orchestra version) (bonus track)
Paradise Lost members:
Gregor Mackintosh - guitars
Aaron Aedy - guitars
Stephen Edmondson - bass
Nick Holmes - vocals
Adrian Erlandsson - drums