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Disappointing... - 70%

Rosner, July 5th, 2017

This release by the doom and gothic metal veterans is a promo CD that comes with the German metal magazine "Legacy". The album includes "The Longest Winter" from their newest album Medusa, bonus track "Symbolic Virtue" and a remix of "Sell it to the World", from the "Believe in Nothing" album.

"The Longest Winter" is a pretty decent song, very miserable and doomy. There's a lot of Type O Negative influence in the guitars (the leads almost sound like synths) and in the overall mood of the song. Despite what the band teased during the album's writting process, almost all of the vocals in the song are clean, except for some growls in the chorus (the ones that can be heard in the teaser). Nick Holmes' vocals seem to be in their prime and the growls sound even better than on "The Plague Within". Nothing exceptional though: the structure of the song is pretty simple and there's no solo or sudden changes. What really shines through the track are the vocals, providing a very catchy melody, and newcomer Waltteri Väyrynen's tight drumming.

"Symbolic Virtue", a bonus track from Medusa, is pure doom metal. It reminds me of the Icon album, and there is an interesting piano during the verses that adds a nice gothic flavour to the thing. There is a solo, but it's really nothing special. Again, a lot of Type O Negative reminiscences, and no growls here, all cleans. The song really feels like your regular Paradise Lost bonus track.

Overall, I find myself disappointed, as I was expecting something more daring and extreme after everything the band said during the album's promotion. Despite this, it should be considered that they are just two tracks out of eleven, so they may not represent the album's overall style. Production wise, it sounds really big and analog: guitars sound nasty and the mix is great. Waltteri seems to be a better fit than Adrian, and the drums have a better sound than on The Plague Within (worst thing on that album, alongside Adrian Erlandsson's boring and disjointed drumming).

Regarding the remix of "Sell it to the World"', it sounds really amazing. I know that the band hates the album and that EMI made them remix it twice so it would have a more commercial sound, but I like the albums as it is. Despite my love for the original, this remix is really promising and makes everything sound more interesting and cohesive, with a production similar to the band's self-titled (2005). I hope they can regain the rights to the album and eventually re-release it remixed and remastered to their pleasing.