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Music Review: Paradise Lost- Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost continue to evolve as they take a step back from the progressive, electronic rock they've been producing for the past few years since the 1997 release of One Second. What is seen on their  self titled album is that they continue with that rock, electronic sound, but go for a much heavier vibe than the previous pop infectious melodies. Not to say this isn't infectious, though, because even though it is heavy, it's still very catchy. Let us just say that this is turning more into the "gothic metal" genre than "gothic rock."

The vocals are still sung; not growled or snarled like the early albums, or the present albums Paradise Lost release today. But, they have a bit more of an edge to them as they cut through the songs, backed by the strums of the guitars and lots of electronic sampling. There's a fair use of keyboard and piano involved as well which adds a nice layer of complexity without sounding too cheesy or overdone. On the track, "Redshift," there is a fine example of how the piano and electronics provide breathing moments for the listener before being overtaken by the chugging guitars. And then on "Forever After," again the two instrument devices are shown how they not only separate the beauty from the heavy, but they can also mix it well.

The guitars are the most important feature on this album as they are one of the sole heralds that this band is stepping towards a more gothic metal vibe than the previous works. The sound is slower and there is a lot more chords used to make the sound thicker, followed by one particular guitar line melody that keeps weaving above all the other music. This is a prominent sound that would become stronger on future albums. In the past, there was a stronger use of electronics as the main instrument present on the albums, and there was more of a collaborative, positive sound. On Paradise Lost.

Lyrically, the album still reaches towards the pop oriented structure: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, repeat verse 1, chorus. They are not as poetic as some of their past (or recent) works, but Paradise Lost seemed to want the music itself to make an impact on its listeners rather than the words. Some have considered this a downfall, but don't worry. Since S/T was released in 2005, the works of Paradise Lost in 2009 have become much deeper and heavier. Sad to say, this is their last album with a strong electronic presence before they revisit their past elements to create a much denser and morose sound to please their listeners.

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