Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol

Over twenty plus years Paradise Lost has continued to treat the ear and senses with impressive and stirring albums. New release “Tragic Idol” is no different, an album which thrills and excites with mesmeric skill. Across their thirteen albums the band has evolved their original metal/ doom sound, drawing upon and fusing in many distinct flavours to persistently offer sounds which excite and drew strong acclaim. Over recent albums they have looked more towards their early sound again losing the electronic elements which emerged a decade ago.
“Tragic Idol” takes a bigger step towards those beginnings with tracks heavily fuelled by classic metal and doom, though there is no neglect of the gothic and melodic creativity the band is renowned for.
“Tragic Idol” does everything right, it unleashes commanding riffs and dominant atmospheres as it explores emotions and thoughts with darkened melodies and incisive craft. Sadly though it does not bring forth anything to linger long in the memory, whilst within the hypnotic and enthralling grasp of a track the satisfaction is immense but once beyond its shadow it is like a distant dream. You remember you experienced it and have its fleeting essences echoing around but you cannot fully grasp what it was. There are only limited moments where songs remain after their passing, so whilst wonderful in their presence it feels like a bit of a hollow victory overall.
The album though is outstanding whilst in its presence. It opens with the excellent ‘Solitary One’. Atmospherically brooding, it invades every pore with a crawl of shadowed melodies and suffocating intensity. Early Killing Joke sounding the track is a perfect opener, its heavy breath waking the senses.
Drizzling emotive melodies, ‘Crucify’ steps up next to unveil the classic rock return of the band, the track a powerful and stirring slab of predatory riffs and expressive guitar enterprise. Through the album and the likes of ‘Fear Of Impending Hell’, Honesty In Death’, and the Metallica spiced In This We Dwell’, the album flares up heart and thoughts. It is the title track though that steals the honours, the song an impressive mix of old school metal and gothic doomed essences.
“Tragic Idol” is a great album but without the ability to remain around once its final notes have parted company with the ear. In every aspect it brings the deepest pleasure, just a shame it is hard to remember long after. (8/10)

Pete RingMaster