30 years on from its original release, Paradise Lost give us a new re-recording of their classic album
Yep, 1993 saw the original release of Paradise Lost’s 4th studio album, which over the years, the band had lost the rights to. Rather than go through all the crap and costs associated with getting the rights back, the band opted to completely re-record the thirteen tracks. So, what we are getting here is as good as a new album, complete with new artwork as well.
After the pinnacle of their death/doom-styled first 3 albums, culminating in the absolute classic “Gothic” Nick Holmes and his merry band of Yorkshiremen started to add much more melody to their tracks giving them a much more “gothic” sound to proceedings, giving the band a wider appeal to metal fans across the spectrum.
We are also getting a special Icon 30 anniversary gig on December 14th at Bradford St George’s Hall!
How does it compare to the original?
Rather than give a blow-by-blow breakdown of each song, I’ll instead bring out the points of improvement over the 1993 release. First and most obvious, is the production. Though Icon didn’t suffer from a bad production for its day, this new realising has a much fuller sound to the drums, though I do prefer the rawer guitar tone of the original, to the cleaner clearer tone of the new. It’s also quite a bit louder overall which makes a big difference, especially to the streamed versions of it.
Doing this review, I’ve got the new album playing through the PC, and the original on my hi-fi (Proper expensive gear for 1993!!). This does give me a nice objective listening experience where there are several nice nuances I can pick up on the new that were either not there or were not that obvious originally.
Now, let’s get to Mr Holmes’s vocals. His newer vocals show how much his voice has matured over the years. Where his cleaner vocals still sound very much the same, its a smoother growled edge these days, and where sometimes I feel the original sounds as if he is forcing his voice a tad, this is now gone. All that nasty growling for Bloodbath has not done him any harm!!
Another thing is that the guitar solos sound much more accomplished – I mean 30 years of playing some of these songs live will do that! Still as melodic as ever, they are still among the highlights of many of the 13 songs. The songs now have an ever so slightly slower tempo as well, which does add an extra minute to the overall playing time – 51 minutes versus 50. So you’re also getting more for your money!
Listen to and watch the lyric video for “Embers Fire” here:
Is it worth getting then?
The answer is a definite yes. Whether you already own the original or are new to the band, this is a superb re-working of the album. The overall quality is better, without doing a disservice to the ’93 release, plus it’s got some nice new cover art to enjoy, especially if you get it on vinyl (which ideally you should!).
30 years on, this is still as good an album as it was when I was back in my early 20s! Paradise Lost should be rightfully proud of this work, as it has given it a full recharge, as well as giving it another 30 years of life!
The album is available now from all your usual places, or be good and buy it directly from the band themselves!
1 – Embers Fire
3 – Forging Sympathy
4 – Joys Of The Emptiness
5 – Dying Freedom
6 – Widow
7 – Colossal Rains
8 – Weeping Words
9 – Poison
10 – True Belief
11 – Shallow Seasons
12 – Christendom
13 – Deus Misereatur
Official Site: https://paradiselost.co.uk/
- £8.99 CD