Released: 2007, Century Media Records
When Paradise Lost followed up their landmark album, DRACONIAN TIMES, with ONE SECOND, a far less heavy album that owed more to gothic rock bands than metal, many fans were confused. However, when ONE SECOND had a chance to sink into the unconscious mind of the listener, it revealed itself to be a masterpiece and a logical progression for a band that has been in a constant state of change. The albums that would follow it, though, showed Paradise Lost to be losing steam. From the electronic HOST, to the return of heavier (but restrained) guitars on BELIEVE IN NOTHING and SYMBOL OF LIFE, to the last full-length, self-titled album, they have been unable to make an album with as much impact as their earlier works. In 2007 they are set to make another offering to their large collection with IN REQUIEM arriving on store shelves in May. This album is rumored to be a return to their heavier roots, something long-time fans have been eagerly awaiting.
To prime fans for the impending release, they have just set loose a three song single to whet the appetite. The disc contains the first single, “The Enemy,” along with the album track, “Beneath Black Skies” and an unreleased song not to be featured on the album, “Godless.” There is also a multimedia trailer for Over the Madness, a forthcoming Paradise Lost documentary.
What impresses the listener as the “The Enemy” begins is the sinister nature of the guitar tone. The guitar sounds used in this track are far from the glossier, sleeker tones used on the later releases and more a reflection of the sounds found on earlier albums like SHADES OF GOD or ICON. The vocal delivery of Nick Holmes also seems to have an edge reminiscent of his more aggressive performances on DRACONIAN TIMES. This track is clearly one of the best tracks they have released since the ONE SECOND album. While not a true throwback to their earlier era, it feels more like a true synthesis of what the band has done in the last ten or twelve years, or more specifically, it feels like the evolutionary step that fans have been waiting for the band to take.
The album track, “Beneath Black Skies,” sounds more at home in the nature of the last few records, but it also offers an edgier tone. The trademark combination of haunting piano, distorted guitar, and melodic leads are all here. Unlike a lot of the album tracks on the last few albums, though, this song sounds like a track that will be imprinted on your mind and not forgotten. The unreleased song, “Godless,” is a haunting, atmospheric instrumental track that would be fitting for a movie soundtrack or an opening track for a gothic metal album.
Although short, this single provides a satisfying and intriguing listen for true fans of the band. Fans waiting for IN REQUIEM album will find a lot to be optimistic about while checking this out and waiting for the full-length album which will be here soon, but maybe not soon enough.
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