"Tragic Idol" is the 13th full-length studio album by UK, Halifax doom/goth metal veterans Paradise Lost. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2012. After releasing more goth oriented material for a number of years/albums, Paradise Lost returned to a more doom oriented metal sound on "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (2009)". They didn´t completely shed their goth metal leanings though and "Tragic Idol" somewhat follows a similar approach. Regarding the lineup the band have recruited former At the Gates, The Haunted and Cradle of Filth drummer Adrian Erlandsson to fill the vacant drummer position.
The music on the album is predominantly mid-paced doomy metal with gothic traits. Lead vocalist Nick Holmes sings using both clean vocals and more raw type singing. The riffs and rythms are heavy and there is an omnipresence of lead guitar themes on the album. the electronic/synth sounds that the band have used a lot on most of their post "Draconian Times (1995)" albums, are few and far between on "Tragic Idol", giving the album a more raw doomy edge just like the case was with it´s direct predecessor. the sound production is pretty clean and polished though so in that respect "Tragic Idol" isn´t that raw an album. If I have to mention a couple of new things I hear on the album it´s the use of more groove based riffing in tracks like "Crucify" and "Theories From Another World" and a more dominant use of double pedalling. The latter is probably the footprint of new drummer Adrian Erlandsson.
As far as overall quality goes I think "Tragic Idol" is a yet another good Paradise Lost album. It´s seldom excellent though but that can be said about so many of the band´s albums that "Tragic Idol" doesn´t stand out as something special in that regard. If you enjoyed the more doomy and guitar oriented sound of "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (2009)" and imagine a more polished version of that album, "Tragic Idol" will probably please you too. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.