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Good but not perfect! - 95%

grimdoom, July 19th, 2008

Paradise Lost review for The Anatomy Of Melancholy

Since the disaster that was the 'Sheppard’s Bush' concert it was high time that Paradise Lost redeemed themselves. But have they truly done so with this release? Read on to find out, as there are many good things about this album.

First off the production is amazing as you can hear everything perfectly. The bad is beyond tight and musically nearly flawless. The guitars are loud, bombastic and heavy. It sounds as if the band has returned to 'D' tuning, but in the liner notes it says they play in standard (damn shame too). The bass is a little low in the mix but good all the same.

The drums are incredible! Jeff is easily the best drummer the band has ever worked with and his professional skill is amazing. There are some samples from the songs that have them too, as well as backing female vocals from the songs that had them. The band/crowd interaction is a little on the thin side but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Nick's voice is surprisingly good. Its really hard to tell if his voice was over dubbed or not as anyone who has seen anything from youtube can attest that he's totally lost what little vocal prowess he's had since 'One Second'. He does a very weak but still somewhat cool gruff style of vocal for the tracks "Eternal" and "Gothic", these two tracks easily garner the most crowd reaction.

It was very interesting how they took non-Metal songs like "So Much is Lost" and "Mouth" and made them Metal. Playing all the synth parts with their guitars and adding more than any computer could.

There are countless high points over all this album. One would be the band playing "Embers Fire" at about half speed. The inclusion of "Sweetness" and "Forever Failure" (along with the Gothic tracks) makes this an entertaining listen.

The downsides are that there are pre-taped backing vocals that appear on a handful of songs. This isn't Pop, its Heavy Metal, we don't use "backing" tracks live. This detracts from the over all performance. Another complaint would be the Goofy falling scream that happens about three-five times throughout the entire album (bad audience member!!).

Adding more to the list of woe would be some of the tracks they picked to play live. For example, they could've picked a better track to play from the "controversial" 'Host' album then "So Much is Lost". Also the inclusion of the tired club hit "Say Just Words" was a horrible closer to the set list. Its a shame that they didn't see it fit to add more from 'Gothic' like: "Dead Emotions", "The Painless", "Falling Forever", etc... Even with Nick's somewhat return to his mid-period vocal style, the two tracks from their second album sounded good.

There was also a noticeable lack of songs from 'Shades of God' and 'Icon' but regardless, the songs that they chose do work well in a live setting.

This is really more of a live greatest hits compilation than anything else, but it does redeem them from the horrific blunder that was the 'Sheppard’s Bush' concert. This is worth getting as the band is still in great shape and still very into what they're doing.