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Good for what it is. - 89%

grimdoom, March 20th, 2009

Its interesting to see how bands progress with time. In the case of Paradise Lost its interesting to see them go from a rough Doomdeath Metal band, to a Synth Goth band back to being a Doom Metal band again. Many bands, Children of Bodom, Tool or Stratovarious for example, have been putting out the same album since they started and will continue to do so until they break up. For some bands, like AC/DC its a good idea to keep putting out what the people want to hear. Some bands should never change, while others you want/need to change to fully appreciate. Paradise Lost however, fit into the prior part of this comparison. Granted they've never done the same thing twice and that even their non-Metal albums have merit, its safe to say that had they continued in the style of ANY of their first five albums, the Metal world would be happier with them.

According to Greg, "A first album is a first album, you don't really know who you are or what your doing." (see Over the Madness DVD) According to the rest of the band this album was nothing more then them messing around with Hammy in a studio while smashed. They had recorded a bunch of bands rehearsals and from these recordings came the basic frame work for each of the songs on this album. They took the ideas they liked and cut the ones they didn't. They also view this album as a joke anymore.

The production is horrible, once again to reference the DVD, Hammy had a book on how to be a great producer one of the things his book said was to record all the rhythm guitars clean and add the distortion later, and this is what they did. Interesting to any who have seen their 'Live Death' VHS or DVD is that their instruments sound EXACTLY the same live as they do on the recording, a unique feat considering the distortion was added afterwards. In saying that, the guitars are surprisingly heavy (tuned to 'C') and brutal; mixing Death and Doom Metal into an original and style that would later be called Doomdeath. The leads are simplistic and are more or less beginner-esq tapping patterns, effective all the same.

The bass is relatively boring and follows the guitars. The drums play it safe and play what is considered standard for the style. The vocals are outstanding, especially considering that Nick was still a teenager at this point in the bands career. According to Greg, he hated Nicks vocals on this album, to quote "they sounded stupid". The lyrics are dark and spiteful, sadly, according to the band they aren't the most meaningful in retrospect. The music, while good, is sloppy and no where near as tight as future releases would be.

So, after one has listened to this and seen the DVD about the making of this album, what do we have here? From the fan perspective we have one of the darkest and heaviest albums to be release in the latter part of the 80's. The blue print for painfully slow and heavy Metal, and the birth of a new style. From the perspective of the informed, we have an accident that was never meant to get to record. Five guys, just barely out of school messing around and surprisingly getting popular while doing it.