PARADISE LOST — Shades of God (review)

PARADISE LOST — Shades of God album cover Album · 1992 · Doom Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
After catching their name on Banger TV's "Lock Horns" program about death doom, I began sampling the band's albums on YouTube and decided that their earlier work was more what I was going to be able to digest at the moment. Indeed, this album seems very familiar for a couple of reasons, the first being that the music often reminds me of Trouble with some songs being more obviously influenced by Black Sabbath and in one or two cases I have picked out a Metallica influence as well.

The other reason why this album was easy for me to appreciate is because the songs aren't particularly predictable. Doom riffs cross with almost psychedelically influenced early seventies riffs. A bass breakdown crops up unexpectedly, a cowbell accompanies a really cool guitar riff, or an acoustic guitar piece appears in the middle of a song. The songs come across more like a story that the old standby of verse/chorus/verse/chorus. Riffs go A, B and then just when you hear A again and are waiting for B, a completely different riff comes in. Or A returns later on just because it sounds good coming in right there. Speaking of riffs, as a death / doom album, there is a lot of terrific riffing. But I just can't get Trouble our of my head.

Just wait, though, until you hear the riff just before and just after the 4:00 mark in "Mortals Watch the Day". I keep hearing James Hetfield come in with "Death greets me warm / now I will just say goodbye". And then there's Ozzy singing "Killing yourself to live" along with a riff in "The Word Made Flesh". But the album is not so derivative of the band's mentors as it may seem because of the way they've structured their songs and add things in unexpected places, as I said before. They are very good crafters of heavy music.

The most predictable thing about this album is Nick Holmes' vocals. He has that deep, raspy style and with very little range. At least the lyrics are almost completely intelligible.

I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite track here but I find myself noticing "Mortals Watch the Day", "Daylight Torn", "No Forgiveness" (is that an Iommi-inspired guitar solo?), "The Word Made Flesh" for a Trouble-like riff and cowbell, and the album closer "As I Die". I like the focus on slower, heavy, almost groovy at times music. I feel like the band wanted you to remember the individual songs. This is an album that has made a bigger impression on me than expected.
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1 year ago
After reading other people's reviews, I do understand that this is a transitional album. I have Gothic now and I like it as well but it surely is different from this one.
adg211288 wrote:
1 year ago
This has the sound of a transitional album if ever there was one, but it's fast become one of my favourites by the band.

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