Paradise Lost

Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us

Written by: PP on 30/10/2009 15:33:02

Paradise Lost started their career over 20 years ago as a pioneering death/doom metal band, and through constant evolution in their sound somehow ended up also pioneering the debacle known as gothic metal. But before you roll your eyes and turn away, you should know that Paradise Lost has always enjoyed far more respect than any other band in the genre, because they've never resorted into cheap tricks like operatic female singers or epic soundscapes that are as hollow and empty as they are giant. Instead, their gothic metal sound has thrived because it has a distinct doom metal influence from their early career, evident in the fact that "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us" is the band's 12th studio album. Any band putting out 10+ albums deserves a commendation in my mind.

A gloomy atmosphere full of melancholia and depressing darkness dominates the album, and it does it powerfully, engaging even a casual listener into a doom metal realm those underground bands are seldom able to do. I'm not saying they're not good, just not as accessible as Paradise Lost, which can be attributed to their ability to seamlessly integrate several different genres to their sound. Because if there was one sound that was standing exactly half way between gothic metal and doom metal, then it'd be that by Paradise Lost.

Other influences are rampant as well, with "I Remain" leading the bunch with an audible Nevermore soundscape. "Frailty" is another highlight because of the way it carefully constructs its brooding atmosphere that's not very far from being directly morbid. Occasionally violins are used subtly on the background ("Death Unites Us") to complete the sullen atmosphere, that sometimes even reminds me of strictly doom band like My Dying Bride.

Overall, "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us" is an extremely depressing, dark, methodical release in the way that the songs are constructed so it takes its time to properly grow on the listener. A feeling of sadness and somberness is omnipresent at the back of your head while you're listening to this, so the best possible listening experience is obtained on a day where gray clouds dominate the sky and it's a rainy storm outside - that's precisely what the soundscape of the album successfully establishes.

Download: I Remain, Frailty, Death Unites Us
For the fans of: Nevermore, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.09.2009
Century Media

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