Released: 2013, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
To celebrate 25 years of making some of the finest Gothic and Death/Doom tunes, Britain’s Paradise Lost return with this special rarities album. What’s best about it this release is they certainly haven’t run out of aggression after all these years.
‘Tragic Illusion 25’ opens with ‘Loneliness Remains’ carrying heavy riffs reminiscent of the band’s Death/Doom origins, and then gives a tender tribute to all things Goth with a beautiful cover of ‘Never Take Me Alive’ by Spear of Destiny – an unsung hero of 80s Gothic. Clever use of a piano and shoegazy riffs will remind you of My Dying Bride and early Cradle of Filth, symbolizing the effect Paradise Lost has had on dark British metal.
Some NWOBHM style guitars and drum fills have been included on ‘The Last Fallen Saviour’ and post-punk synthesizers on ‘Last Regret’ will please any 80s fanatic. Plus, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra are featured on ‘Last Regret’ and ‘Faith Divides Us’ creating an atmosphere akin to NeoClassical Metal and unleashes the band’s bottle up anger in the most beautiful way possible.
The only thing constant about this album is Nick Holmes’s growled vocals. Whether the song has thrash metal style chords or an 80s synthesizer arrangement, you can count on him to deliver the finest angry lyrics without pulling any punches.
Finishing off this masterpiece are re-recordings of classic tracks: ‘Gothic’ and ‘Our Saviour’. A new level of anguish has been blended into these with the use of female backing vocals and very edgy guitar and drum arrangements. A true sense of moroseness has been compiled into this excellent celebration of Paradise Lost’s well earned place in the canon of British Gothic Metal. A fine tribute to a job well done.
Review by Demitri Levantis