PARADISE LOST — Symbol of Life (review)

PARADISE LOST — Symbol of Life album cover Album · 2002 · Gothic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Of all the albums of Paradise Lost's mid-career cruise through gothic rock/gothic metal territory - commencing after they more or less abandoned their old death-doom sound on One Second before crawling back towards doom metal territory in their late career - Symbol of Life might be their most instantaneously accessible blend of synth-happy gothic rock in a Sisters of Mercy vein with more gothic metal guitar riffage.

With heavy guitars making a welcome return to their sound, the band manage a really nice, smooth fusion of the different styles, producing something which is accessible enough to have gained a certain amount of commercial traction (at least, it's the Paradise Lost album from this period I saw most heavily promoted in my neck of the woods) whilst at the same time feeling like the band actually believe in what they're doing here more than they did on the slightly directionless Host.

Those for whom a Paradise Lost separated from their extreme metal roots is no Paradise Lost at all will likely turn their nose up at this album, but for those with an appetite for more pop-oriented metal, Symbol of Life finds Paradise Lost adjusting their musical direction and really hitting on an appealing new course, with the lessons of Host and Believe In Nothing fully integrated whilst at the same time the band allow their metal instincts to come back to the fore. On the whole, surprisingly good: I genuinely didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did.
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UMUR wrote:
5 months ago
I´m not a huge fan of anything past Icon (and some of their latest releases), but this one is actually a really strong album, that I listen to on occasion. I have a written review of this one in backlog to be posted when the time is right....

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