Sixteenth work by the British PARADISE LOST, a band that has achieved a loyal and heterogeneous audience thanks to various stages, from the death-doom of its beginnings, the gothic rock of which they were pioneers, passing through its best stage in the nineties with jewels such as “Icon” (1993), “Draconian Times” (1995) or “One second” (1997), a controversial advance towards electronics or industrial that collided with darkness, experimentation, melancholy and experimentation in works of depth as “In Requiem” (2007), “Faith divides us- Death unites us” (2009), until concreting with his latest “The plague within” (2015) and “Medusa” (2017), an approach to the primal doom , loaded with the heaviness that this musical rhythm offers. His new “Obsidian” is another “twist” to the origins of Halifax, since it seems a veiled homage to the “90s” sounds (even of the late eighties) of Gothic rock, to the Sisters of Mercy, united to the doom of strong atmospheric charge, with a Nick Holmes, masterful in the voice, wisely mixing the guttural registers with the clean ones, accompanied by the marvelous technique of Gregor Mc Kintosh to the six strings, along with the other members (Aaron Aedy, Steve Edmonsson and Adrian Edlandsson) are a well-oiled combo. An essential album for the “fans” of the band and those interested in these sounds that seek beauty in the sad.

“Darker thoughts” is a slow start (almost two minutes) with voice and acoustic input, gradually entering the synthesizer and a string section that takes us to a place between the symphonic and the repetitive cadence of doom metal, becoming a spectacular “business card” of the “Obsidian”. “Fall from grace” is the first single we heard. A genius “doom” that links to the best of the previous “Medusa”. He does not invent anything but he does not need it, with that multitude of registers, changes of voices and rhythms. “Ghost” is another preview that we have already heard. Gothic cut that connects with the best Sisters of Mercy in its careful structure. “The devil embraced” continues to scratch at high altitude. Large-scale Gothic metal, with the synthesizer simulating a church organ, a quintessential 90s figure to create that dichotomy between god and devil, light and darkness, with another interesting sample of rhythm changes: melodious, sinister, guttural and with a sensational Mc Kintosh plucking. “Forsaken” has a 90’s gothic chorus and sound that takes us back to his previous works or inspired The Mission. “Serenity” begins by remembering “True belief” to move on to one of the fastest and most metal songs, although there is also room for halftime in its central part. “Ending days” plays a leading role in guitars, which continues to lead us “to dark blow” to the nineties. “Hope dies young” continues with the six strings reminding us of the Andrew Eldritch group but passed through the sieve of the Halifax and a classic plucking of the times of the “Draconian times”. “Ravenghast” marks the end, with a doom cut from its beginnings, until the change with the “Shades of god” that they picked up in the “Medusa” to almost link with two similar themes in its conception as “Hear the night”, with heavy cadence that makes clear the vocal duality of Nick Holmes and “Defiler”. More doom metal from past and vintage times, with an excellent gothic guitar sound on the bridge and the chorus that brings us back to the map to one of those bands that have marked more than a generation and most varied bands, despite if they had not achieved the recognition that, perhaps, they would have deserved. “Obsidian” does not offer anything new to what has been heard before, nor does it invent any style from the future (this has already been achieved in the past) but it is a remarkable work, bordering on the outstanding one, which deserves more than one listen to discover a Lp that will be revalued over time. Let’s trust that brief.

PARADISE LOST – OBSIDIAN

2020-05-22

8.5 Final Note

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