The 13th album in 21 years from England’s Paradise Lost goes from heavy to heavier to heaviest in both words and music. To say the lyrics of singer Nick Holmes are thought-provoking would be an understatement. Dude’s got a lot on his mind and, to his credit, you can hear every word of his apprehension, fears, doubts and ultimately his resolve. Along the way, one can drown in a sea of lead/rhythm/bass GUITAR by Greg Mackintosh/Aaron Aedy/Steve Edmundson.
This is a one Major League well-respected band that has flirted with electronica (1997’s One Second) after establishing itself with 1995’s doom metal Draconian Times. Symbol Of Life (2002) brought ‘em back into their comfort zone and now, with Tragic Idol, it’s ’95 all over again. Recorded in Great Britain and Sweden, produced/mixed/mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth/Borknagar), it’s a mono-maniacal one-dimensional gothic doomfest with themes of mistrust, blind faith, death, fate, self-respect, insomnia and crushing disappointment. It’s almost like being in metal church with Holmes as preacher, spewing his particular brand of wisdom at the congregation. In song after song, guitars bash’n’crash while Holmes empties his soul. By the time of the title cut (track #7 of 10), you’re looking around at the other parishioners wondering how long the damn sermon will go on because you’re getting hungry.