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A new path for death metal - 85%

Gothic_Metalhead, July 31st, 2018
Written based on this version: 1990, CD, Peaceville Records

The late-1980s brought the metal world a new form of extreme music, known as death metal. Bands like Death, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Autopsy and many others were pushing the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost, and Venom into much more extreme boundaries. The year 1990 would bring us a few iconic death metal albums, but a band called Paradise Lost would release 'Lost Paradise', an album that has never been heard in the realm of extreme music. Like a slower version of Autopsy at the time, Paradise Lost's debut album would become ground zero for a new fusion genre of death metal called death-doom. Paradise Lost takes death metal for the first time and fuses the slow, heavy, and dark sounds of Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, and Candlemass. 'Lost Paradise' is indeed an album that has been overlooked, but the album is a heavy sound of greatness that has taken death metal into newer heights. Sure, it may not be the band's best music in their career nor in their death-doom period, but it's an album that can't be ignored if listeners are looking for extreme heavy music.

'Lost Paradise' musical structure is good, but not the best. While I still think that the band are showing similarities to bands like Obituary, and Autopsy, but of course the music is a little slower. Some songs have some moderately fast parts, but it does not bother to speeding up anything higher tempos than that, and that is the point. I love how the album is slow and heavy, but also still keeping that death metal vibe. It fits pretty well with how songs are designed with the raw guitars and Nick Holmes dark growling. Though I feel the album would have been better if most of the songs were slower. The production on the album is not the best, but 'Lost Paradise' uses that production to their advantage it gives the music more raw power and dirty heaviness that is being heard through the instruments. The rhythm guitars are heavy as all hell, and lead guitar is good with some tasty solos. Hearing how evil 'Frozen Illusion' sounds is attributed to the chucking sounds of rhythm guitars and the creepy leads heard in 'Rotting Misery.' The bass on the other hand felt too simple and I couldn't hear much in that direction. The low production of the album gives a bad quality to the bass as I couldn't really hear anything exciting or heavy, it almost sounds like it's following more with the guitars instead having its own flare like how in the bands next album would sound. While production and bass sounds are not the best, the rest of the musical style is still really good.

Nick Holmes vocal style is one of the characteristics I enjoy most about 'Lost Paradise.' Like Autopsy, the growling for 'Lost Paradise' is very deep which brings heaviness to the album. The intro to 'Deadly Inner Sense' honestly made me jump because of the intensity that Holmes brought right away to the album. The low production did not damper on Nick Holmes performance, as it is still able to hear clearly on what Nick Holmes is talking about. The lyrics to 'Lost Paradise' is not much to say from my side. I mean, the lyrics sound good in most songs, though for some reason they didn't feel all too memorable to my ears. When comes to the lyrics of the album, I feel that the music off this album are as memorable then the lyrical themes.

Personally, I did really enjoy listening to 'Lost Paradise', I thought it was a hard-hitting album that took on a slower Autopsy style approach and made some really good death-doom songs that were raw and haunting. However, that doesn't mean it's entirely good. While 'Lost Paradise' is considered the first death-doom album, it didn't feel really memorable from an album that gave birth to a fusion genre. I feel like Paradise Lost copied off what Autopsy did back in 1989 when they released their first record, but it was less gore and less speed. The low production had its ups and downs that went on that either make the album better or worse. 'Lost Paradise' is still good to look at from a vocalist perspective and from a more atmospheric and guitar approach. The following year however, saw Paradise Lost birth another new style of metal with their death-doom masterpiece 'Gothic.'

Favorite Tracks: 'Deadly Inner Sense', 'Paradise Lost', 'Rotting Misery', 'Frozen Illusion'