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Yes, bands like these deserve the tag "pop metal"... while not overtly saccharine, Paradise Lost pen verse chorus verse tinged songs that are so maddeningly catchy, you'll probably claw your own eyes out. I know I did. Why do you think I'm ytpin lyk thsi.
Really, Draconian Times is a great, somber, hard rocking album. Given any exposure, I'm sure this album could appeal to a wide spectrum of music fans, and cross the great divide between metal and radio. The vocals are harsh, and tuneful, like Hetfield circa 92 or John Bush. This style appeals to me, and sets Paradise Lost apart from their wuss metal contemporaries. It gives them a kick of originality
"Once Solemn" is a footstomping, hand clapping, barn burner of a rock song... YOUR POWERS ELECTRIFY ME. Guaranteed to have you singing along like a doofus come chorus 2. Enchantment and the last song flirt with goth, although the "goth metal" tag is fairly silly... once again, Draconian Times is closer to morose hard rock than anything else. Another plus... NO GAYBOARDS!
Anyway, my favorite songs are Once Solemn, I See Your Face, and Hallowed Land. If you crave well written in yo face metal, and you're a fan of Amorphis (whose latter day work is very PL influenced) or Sentenced, do investigate further.
THE FEELING CAN'T AVOID YOUUUU