From their beginnings as Gothic Metal pioneers, Paradise lost have travelled an interesting musical path indeed. They’ve spent much of the last decade in the electronic realm, many questioning that particular foray, but I’m pleased to say that the return voyage begun on 2005’s self titled effort has now come full circle.
There is much to like on “In Requiem”. The band have looked retrospectively to pave the way to the future - the influences on the album range back to the “Shades of God” era, however the sound is still fresh and current.
Crushing opener “Never for the Damned” has echoes of “Icon”, with haunting melodies, a heavy bottom end to the guitars and also sees frontman Nick Homes utilising many vocal styles once again to convey changes in emotion.
From there every song possesses a fresh diversity, with elements of gothic metal, doom and more straight out metal coming through the sound. Beautiful guitar lines frame much of the vocals adding an extra eeriness that enhances the texture of many of the songs. Whereas some might argue the band used far too much keyboards in recent years here they are stripped back, used as an augment to the music rather than as the focus of it.
The album had several highlights including “Ash & Debris”, “Requiem” (which has the closest to early Paradise Lost vocal style of any track here), “Praise Lamented Shade” and “Fallen Children” among others. Towards the back end of the album it does tend to drop off slightly, but there is still plenty to keep the listener interested.
The band haven’t completely abandoned their electronic experiments - several tracks have a suggestion of that particular influence, but only on one track, “Missing” (a dance cover!) does it come to the fore.
Overall however this is a fairly solid effort from the quintet. Fans who stopped listening after Gothic mightn’t enjoy this, but for those who hold “Shades of God”, “Icon” and “Draconian Times” in high regard, there is plenty to satisfy indeed.
1. Never For the Damned
2. Ash & Debris
3. The Enemy
4. Praise Lamented Shade
7. Prelude to Descent
8. Fallen Children
9. Beneath Black Skies
10. Sedative God
11. Your Own Reality