(9/10) It was more than two decades ago when I heard "As I die" for the first time. This song made me listen to Paradise Lost's "Gothic" and "Shades of God". The first time I have seen the band live was in 1994 when the five-piece played a show at the Longhorn in Stuttgart, Germany. 

Going with the band's releases through all the up's ("Draconian times") and downs ("Host") I arrived at "The plague within". From "In requiem" on Paradise Lost found step by step back to their old strength that cumulates on their newest release - a slightly different one again. Moving away from gothic metal towards doom and death is something that fits the band very well. You could never press Paradise Lost into a certain framework. The five guys did and do what they think feels best at a certain moment. This time it's playing heavier stuff which is excellent but harder to diguest. "The plague within" needs a few rounds in your player to reveal the full pleasure. Like also with the artwork of the record it's the details that makes it special.

It's amazing how fast time goes by. "The plague within" is already album number fourteen of the British band; filled with ten brand new songs. With the addition of the above mentioned new shades the disc reflects still most the unique trademarks of Paradise Lost. It's the dark vocallines like on the opener "No hope in sight" and "An eternity of lies" that makes Paradise Lost recognisable from the first note. Than there are the typical guitar lines like on "An eternity of lies" that also include the clean vocals of Holmes - another trademark of the band.

This time Paradise Lost also decided to place one of their slowest songs ever on the record. "Beneath broken earth" is a mighty doom song that slowly rolls over you. It's a slightly new side of Paradise Lost that the guys present to us with this number - and it's a great side too. This track is a clear example that the gothic influences moved into the background while death metal took the place in the forefront. Songs like the mentioned "Beneath broken earth" underline this and the doom factor makes the track even more evil.

"The plague within" confirms that Paradise Lost are back in old strength embedded in a slightly new interpretation of their sound. It seems that they had to go through the 'Host'-times in order to write an awesome album like this. I also think that side projects like Bloodbath (Holmes) and Vallenfyre (Mackintosh) lit the spark for a death metal fire of Paradise Lost. "The plague within" is a merciless and depressive piece of metal that shows a development I like. I'm already looking forward to see the band live on stage again in autumn this year. Thumbs up.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. No hope in sight
  2. Terminal
  3. At eternity of lies
  4. Punishment through time
  5. Beneath broken earth
  6. Sacrifice the flame
  7. Victim of the past
  8. Flesh from bone
  9. Cry out
  10. Return to the sun

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Death Metal

CD review PARADISE LOST "The plague within"
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