THE EUROPEAN METALZINE
"The Plague Within"
Review by dalia di giacomo
Recorded at (, , , ) in London with producer .The cover was created by Polish artist Zbigniew M. Bielak (Watain,Ghost).
Nick Holmes- Vocals
Greg Mackintosh - Lead Guitar & Rhythm Guitar
Aaron Aedy - Rhythm Guitar
Steve Edmonson -Bass
Adrian Erlandsson -Drums
Female vocals by Heather Thompson from Tapping The Vein.
Additional Musicians on tracks 3,6,7:
Liam Byrne - Viola da Gamba (Viol)
Daniel Quill - Violin
BEFORE US THE KING(S)
Legendary Gothic Doom Metallers Paradise Lost return, after the great "Tragic Idol", with opus number fourteen: "The Plague Within". Definitely they sit again on the Throne that already belonged to them. Paradise Lost, the Masters, are fully back to their "roots" in the most brilliant way we could ever dream. The Icon and Draconian Times eras, enriched by the experience of the latest three albums, shine again for what concerns vocals, rhythmics, musical architecture and the discharge of hammering heaviness. Outstanding is the more extensive use of tremolo- techniques which add to the songs a touch of Blackened Death/Doom, yet crepuscular Gothic landscapes are also still present. PL sound so fresh, reinventing this way their Doom Death matrix. Lyrics are even more impressive, Nick Holmes' abrasive vocals (in clear and in growl again) are gloomy, strong , mighty. And Greg Mackintosh 's guitar has never sounded so magnificent and rhythmics are massive. Some tracks are majestic: one for all "An Eternity Of Lies". This song is characterized by a fantastic melody, it is enjoyable with moments of heaviness and moments of monumentality with memorable chorus (with great vocals of Heather Thompson almost in background) with violin and viola da gamba: it is a masterpiece. Sorrowful atmospheres walk hand in hand with headbanging spur.
Moreover I notice that this album, at least in my opinion, gets two opener: Both "No Hope in Sight" and "Terminal" could be used to open a live concert, and I 'm sure it was not that easy to decide which of the two had to be placed as opener of this album.
Sure. Greg Mackintosh's Vallenfyre leave a sign: the enthusiastic return to extreme metal. And so is doing the presence of Nick Holmes as frontman of Bloodbath. Yet is the whole band that is reborn. I mention again the superb rhythmic guitars without forgetting the multilayered drumming or the bass lines. Great feature of "The Plague Within" is that one can appreciate and distinguished each instrument in every song. The album gets a great, interesting sound which is cohesive yet able to explore various aspects of metal unifying them under an unmistakable style.
Full circle: the old school is reborn and renewed in Anno Domini 2015. I have said that Paradise Lost typical Gothic tristesse meets a blackened Doom Death that we can define as old school. But we know that this Old is so New. And it hurts too. To summon the same crepuscular emotions and feelings we had with Remembrance or True Belief hurts a lot but only because we buried them, and now they dare to look into our eyes with a rejuvenated shape. What have we done in all this time? What have we lost along the way? Well, I can say in honesty that I never forgot how it began for me my passion for Dark Metal: the spirit of "True Belief" has never stopped to flow in my blood. Therefore I can enjoy, with the young decrepitude of a hungry vampire, the dynamic songs that form the first part of the album and the monumental, anthemic, funerel ones of the second part, making "Cry out" a kind of exception in this partition. "No Hope in Sight" begins with a memorable great call driven by Mackintosh lead guitar and goes on with chugging phrases, The band comments:" was one of the first tracks we wrote and it reflects a blend of styles. From death metal to gothic to classic rock. It's like all eras of wrapped up into one track "Terminal" is so energetic, so anthemic, its force is unexpected, in its resounding vocals, in its imposing drumming, in its stop and go`s. It's sure a killer live. I have already expresses my opinion about "An Eternity Of Lies" which is fantastically emotional, simply precious and soul-aching. The fast and rhythmically propelled "Punishment Through Time" reminds to the song "Once Solemn" of the "Draconian Times" era and lets your heart beat faster. Now the contrast comes with the lapidary "Beneath Broken Earth", maybe the slowest song ever written by PL, quintessence of Doom. Doomy and groovy and sinister is "Sacrifice The Flame", slow and embellished by bittersweet bass lines: A triumph of melancholia , but with temperament. Violin and an orchestral background complete the features of this song. "Victim Of the Past" is bittersweet too,but soon the sad n slow Gothic flair becomes a fist in your mouth, supported by with fierce guitar arpeggios, just in order to return into sadness, and to explode again. "Flesh From Bone" begins doomy but soon shows short yet violent, very fast percussive Death , never heard from PL in this messure, alternated with a slower sinister, dark, atmospheric which reminds to symphonic blackened metal. "Cry Out" is a surprise because begins in full American Blues Rock style , merged then into Dark Metal in an outstanding way. "Return to the Sun" ends the album with a solemn , almost sacral, liturgic and unforgettable flair.
dalia di giacomo
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