Paradise Lost- ‘Obsidian’ Review

Three decades since their debut, Paradise Lost prove that they only get better with age with the release of their sixteenth studio album.

Forming in Halifax back in 1988, Paradise Lost has since come to be regarded as pioneers of Gothic Metal and Doom Metal by fans across the globe. Now, with the release of their sixteenth studio album, Obsidian, the band conquer new territory to create their best release to date.

A perfect blend of genres, neatly tied under the umbrella of Gothic Metal, Obsidian works to generate an atmosphere as it progresses, moving from one song to another. From the Folkish undertones of ‘Darker Thoughts’ and ‘Ending Days’, to the refined orchestral sections of ‘Forsaken’ and ‘Ravenghast’, it is clear that the band use the album to experiment with their unique sound.

Although venturing down new routes and blending genres with each song, Paradise Lost never deviate too far from their distinctive sound throughout the album. Instead, by embedding these different genres subtly throughout, these aspects work to refresh their sound and give a new lease of life to their extremely extensive discography.

‘Darker Thoughts’, ‘Fall From Grace’ and ‘Serenity’ are ones to keep an eye out for live: providing the signature sound that fans crave, alongside elegant, refined sections that prevent them from ever being lost amid their greatest hits.

Famed for their classic Gothic Metal sound, Obsidian is guaranteed to be a fan favourite- still maintaining their distinctive approach to music as within the rest of their albums. 

‘Hope Dies Young’ and ‘Hear The Night’ demonstrate this perfectly. Interweaved between the refreshing moments of nuance and technicality, these are the songs that promise to satisfy even the most devoted fans as the band prove that, even after 32 years, they have no intention of abandoning the sound that they were founded upon.

As for the rest of the album, Paradise Lost does seem to hint at a slightly more nuanced path than in their previous work. From hints of 80s-Synth in ‘Ghosts’ to the ambience and dissonance of ‘The Devil Embraced’, Obsidian perfectly captures something that many bands would initially shy away from.

Whilst many would infer that, sixteen albums down the line, the band’s sound would begin to falter, Obsidian ensures to put any rumours or doubts to rest, promising their most impressive release yet. Balancing on the tightrope of conveying elegance and hard-hitting riffs simultaneously, the album is, simply put, Paradise Lost’s most mature and refined album to date.

Obsidian is out now via Nuclear Blast Records and available on all streaming platforms.

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