PARADISE LOST — Draconian Times

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PARADISE LOST - Draconian Times cover
4.47 | 35 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1995

Tracklist

1. Enchantment (6:04)
2. Hallowed Land (5:02)
3. The Last Time (3:27)
4. Forever Failure (4:18)
5. Once Solemn (3:03)
6. Shadowkings (4:41)
7. Elusive Cure (3:20)
8. Yearn for Change (4:19)
9. Shades of God (3:54)
10. Hands of Reason (3:58)
11. I See Your Face (3:17)
12. Jaded (3:26)

Total Time: 48:55

Japanese bonus tracks:
13. Walk Away
14. Laid to Waste
15. Master of Misrule

Bonus disc (Limited Edition Commemorative Tour Pack)
1. Embers Fire (live) (4:27)
2. Daylight Torn (live) (7:28)
3. True Belief (live) (4:24)
4. Pity the Sadness (live) (5:14)
5. As I Die (live) (3:39)
6. Weeping Words (demo) (3:51)
7. The Last Time (demo) (3:27)
8. Walk Away (3:24)
9. Laid to Waste (3:15)
10. Master of Misrule (3:06)
11. Forever Failure (video edit) (4:45)

Total Time: 47:05

Line-up/Musicians

- Nick Holmes / vocals
- Gregor Mackintosh / lead guitar
- Aaron Aedy / rhythm and acoustic guitars
- Steve Edmonson / bass guitar
- Lee Morris / drums

Additional Musicians:

- Andrew Holdsworth / keyboards

About this release

Label: Music For Nations
Release Date: June 12, 1995

Recorded at Great Linford Manor and Ridge Farm Studios, England, January 1995.
Produced by Simon Efemey for Zomba Management Ltd.
Engineered by Pete "Pee Wee" Coleman.
Assisted by Andy Griffin, Phil Wood and Phil Luff.
Mixed by Simon Efemey and Pete "Pee Wee" Coleman.
Mastered by Kevin Metcalfe at Townhouse Studios, London.

Choral Arrangements by the Guildford Dead Boys Choir.
All illustrations and photography by Holly Warburton.
Design and Layout by Stylorouge.
Spoken Dialogue on Forever Failure taken from "Charles Manson - The Man who killed the Sixties" produced by Box Productions for Channel Four Television Corporation.

Limited Edition Commemorative Tour Pack includes bonus disc.

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR, TheHeavyMetalCat, adg211288 for the updates

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PARADISE LOST DRACONIAN TIMES reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

adg211288
With their first four albums representing a clear evolution from their beginnings as a pure death-doom metal act to a gothic metal act, Paradise Lost's fifth full-length album sees them delivering something as close to what could be considered their standard fare. Not that they really have one, as subsequent albums would go on to prove. Titled Draconian Times (1995), the album is probably the UK band's best known and well regarded release as is considered a seminal album of the gothic metal genre.

It's really got hard to hear why. Gothic metal can take a number of different forms and Paradise Lost's style is one that remains closest to its roots in doom and traditional heavy metal. As on Icon (1993), frontman Nick Holmes has now left behind any traces of growling vocals in the band's style and sings cleanly in a style that is actually not that unlike that of Metallica's James Hetfield. I've seen some describe the band as being like a meeting of that band with Black Sabbath. That's kind of accurate but only the bare bones of what they and Draconian Times actually sound like. This album has a quite polished and melodic sound but it's also dark and melancholy. There's still an element of the doom metal roots, but it'll be a long while again before Paradise Lost could be considered an actual doom metal band.

The songs themselves tend toward being catchy, memorable numbers that all easily number among the best that Paradise Lost has ever recorded. There are some clear highlights such as Hallowed Land, which features excellent use of piano and Forever Failure, which includes some spoken word samples from Charles Manson. They've a very good band at making their individual songs stand out as unique entities instead of just being part of a greater whole and Draconian Times is undeniably the best collection they ever put together, each one of them having claims to being a standout in its own right. I think it is maybe fair to say that the songs on the first half of the album have become a bit more well known, but the quality in the second half really isn't that different.

Although I've listened to gothic metal on and off for years and even had a couple of other Paradise Lost albums a bit longer than this one, it was Draconian Times that really sold me on the kind of quality that the genre has to offer when the band is a cut above the rest of the pack. Draconian Times is the kind of album that not only lives up to its hype. But also converted this previously sceptical listener into both a fan of the band and someone who now wants to active investigate other gothic metal bands.
Warthur
Just like their fellow British death/doom pioneers My Dying Bride had on their The Angel and the Dark River, Paradise Lost's 1995 release sees them locked in on a Goth-doom trajectory, with sonorously intoned vocals and crunchy riffs. Paradise Lost retain a bit more of the death metal sound of their earlier albums this time, whereas at this point My Dying Bride had more or less completely abandoned sludgy death guitar, but otherwise if you like the one band's experiments in mingling the atmosphere of gothic rock with the techniques of doom metal you'll like the other's.

Between this one and Icon, I think I mildly prefer this one. Neither got me particularly enthusiastic on early listens, but with the passage of time and a little loosening of my expectations (and in particular, stepping away from the constant temptation to compare this to Lost Paradise or Gothic) really helped me see the virtues of both albums, and now I consider them to be exemplary gothic metal releases.

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