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3.94 | 20 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2015

Filed under Doom Metal


1. No Hope in Sight (4:54)
2. Terminal (4:2)
3. An Eternity of Lies (5:58)
4. Punishment Through Time (5:13)
5. Beneath Broken Earth (6:09)
6. Sacrifice the Flame (4:42)
7. Victim of the Past (4:29)
8. Flesh From Bone (4:19)
9. Cry Out (4:31)
10. Return to the Sun (5:23)

Total Time 50:10


- Adrian Erlandsson / Drums
- Nick Holmes / Vocals
- Aaron Aedy / Guitars (rhythm)
- Gregor Mackintosh / Guitars (lead), Keyboards
- Stephen Edmondson / Bass

- Daniel Quill / Violin (tracks 6, 7)
- Liam Byrne / Viola Da Gamba (tracks 6, 7)
- Heather Thompson / Vocals

About this release

Released May 29th, 2015, on New Century Media Records.

A music video was made for 'Beneath Broken Earth'.

Bonus tracks:
11. Fear the Silence
12. Never Look Away Lyrics
13. Victim of the Past (Orchestra Version)

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and UMUR, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The 14th studio album made by Paradise Lost marks an intensive return to a havier sound and voice. In addition to the slower music and heavy riffs, the listener is able to hear harsh vocals and even death growls which have not been in use for the band since the early era. The album is a true example of a harder gothic doom metal, but yet is unable to provoke and surprise in most of its sections in my opinion. It is a typical example of band's direction from here on, which will have continued and developed in the next releases. Best landmark song: Victim of the Past.
The Plague Within in some respects seems to be a conscious attempt by Paradise Lost to revisit their roots, with brutal growls alongside the clean singing for the first time since their early years and the gothic elements that had been part of their sound for so long for the most part being set aside.

However, to my ears this isn't so much a recapturing of the death-doom style of their early years as it is a more generic, straight down the middle doom metal style with some death growls. It's entertaining enough in its own way and a good enough listen all the way through, but I can't give it more than, say, three and a half stars or so because it feels like the band have become rather anonymous and generic, without much in the way of a particular sound which is their own.
"The Plague Within" is the 14th full-length studio album by UK doom/goth metal act Paradise Lost. The album was released through Century Media Records in May 2015. Although it´s only been 3 years since the release of "Tragic Idol (2012)", those years have been very busy for the band. They´ve both toured in support of "Tragic Idol (2012)" and of course spend time writing and recording the material for "The Plague Within", but several of the members have also been busy outside the band. Gregor Mackintosh (guitars, keyboards) and Adrian Erlandsson (drums) have both been busy with Vallenfyre, and Erlandsson has also been keeping himself busy with The Haunted and At the Gates. In addition to that lead vocalist Nick Holmes was chosen as the new frontman for Swedish death metal act Bloodbath for their 2014 album "Grand Morbid Funeral".

So it´s been busy years indeed, and working with the many (in most cases) harder edged projects seems to have rubbed off on the writing direction on "The Plague Within". Suddenly Nick Holmes is using growling vocals again in addition to his cleans. A vocal style he hasn´t embraced since the very early 90s, and the music is also slightly harder edged than heard in years from the band. This is not as dark and brutal as the first couple of releases by Paradise Lost though, but it appears that the band have made a conscious decision to combine some of the early doom/death elements of their sound with their more "regular" doom/goth style. To my ears "The Plague Within" sounds a bit like "Shades of God (1992)" meets "Icon (1993)". Which is of course a simplified description of the music, and it´s not completely true, but close enough to be somewhat valid.

Paradise Lost has released many quality relases over the years, but many of them have suffered from featuring too many tracks, that didn´t stand out. They simply weren´t varied enough. That´s fortunately not true for "The Plague Within", which is a relatively varied release. Not just because of the reintroduction of growling vocals, but also as a result of the band including elements from various parts of their vast discography. So you´re treated to both slow doom/death tracks ("Beneath Broken Earth", "Sacrifice the Flame"), goth influenced doom/death metal tracks (like "Terminal", "Cry Out"), and even a faster paced death metal track in "Flesh From Bone" (which is probably the fastests I´ve yet heard them play). Often the influences are combined in the tracks. It´s all packed in a melancholic atmosphere and features melodic guitar themes, and occasional use of keyboards, and violin and viola on a couple of tracks.

"The Plague Within" features a well sounding production, which suits the music well, and as always the band are well playing/singing. So upon conclusion "The Plague Within" is yet another quality release by Paradise Lost. Unlike some of their other releases this one also stands out in their discography and although it´s not wildly original (we´ve heard the growl/clean vocal combination to death by now), it´s unmistakably the sound of Paradise Lost, and having your own distinct sound always deserves praise. This time around with a few twists and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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