Monday, 25 March 2013

Paradise Lost: Tragic Idol

Sometime around Draconian Times (1995) I'm sad to say I pretty much gave up on the almighty British doom institution that is Paradise Lost, having been into their stuff since Gothic.  Unlike just about everybody else I thought the Draconian album was 'okay' rather than show-stopping, although it did sort of stop the show for me and PL.  I did pick up the One Second album and liked it, but Host left me cold and I stopped buying, even despite them wandering back to metal territory years later.  That changed of recent when I heard a track or two from the latest release Tragic Idol, and took the risk in ordering it.  I've listened to it ten or eleven times now (I think that should be the minimum before anybody passes an opinion on an album, unless it's pop and requires no effort whatsoever to love/hate depending on your propensities).  Some say it's the best disc since Draconian Times, well sod that: this is the best disc since Icon!  Starting off with a doomier cut than you might expect from the boys who once became electro, the album picks up pace with the rather good 'Crucify', moving on to a consistently excellent run of tracks from 'Honesty in Death' through to and including 'Worth Fighting For', with the best on the album being 'Theories...', 'In This We Dwell', 'To The Darkness' (complete with a wonderful guitar solo), and the title track itself.  With a heavy guitar sound reminiscent of the Icon/Draconian period (and Nick Holmes vocals similarly following suit) this is really great stuff from one of Britain's most respectable bands.  For the record my preferred album of theirs is Shades of God so you could guess I do favour the heavier material, but as I say I was open minded enough to accept One Second.  With Tragic Idol you can consider me a fan once again.  I picked up the more expensive CD release by the way, which essentially is much flashier packaging, and the one PL fans themselves would want, whereas more casual buyers will go for the cheaper jewel case edition (or download if you have an aversion to dusting).

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