Released: 2009, Century Media
Paradise Lost are back doing what they do best: supplying us gloomy bastards with downtuned dirges of misery and sorrow. The purveyors of gothic-doom have come a long way since their beginnings in dark cold Halifax in Yorkshire, but barring a couple of ill-advised Depeche Mode meanderings in the middle of their careers, they are officially BACK! Take it from me, first 2007’s IN REQUIEM and now FAITH… in 2009, they’re well on their way to forging the third part of their illustrious career.
First thing you notice is that while the songs are undoubtedly ambitious and ‘lush’ in their construction, they are still straightforwardly heavy. No long wanderings into nowhere, the band sounds focused and full of purpose. The soloing courtesy of Greg Mackintosh is the only element of the band which is allowed some leeway to wander, and even then the leads are still topnotch. The seven-string riff ideas and melodies are explored to satisfaction and there are a lot of them! The drumming by Peter Damin (session member – he’s now replaced by Adrian Erlandsson) is beautifully understated, energetic when he needs to be and suitably discreet when the song so requires. And Nick Holmes is in fine voice, melancholy and angry and emotional all at once. This is “music to be murdered by”, as Holmes claims gothic music should be.
If you were a fan of their early days and hoped to see a return to form, FAITH… will satisfy at least part of your cravings. Most fans of doom, death-doom or gothic-doom would be pretty happy with this album as well – fans of diverse acts like Cathedral, Warning, Candlemass, Swallow the Sun, Amorphis and Sentenced will all find something to like in FAITH DIVIDES US, DEATH UNITES US. As they say in that part of Yorkshire, “Nowt more to’t.”