Paradise Lost - Medusa review



Reviewer:
8.7

142 users:
8.06
Band: Paradise Lost
Album: Medusa
Release date: September 2017


01. Fearless Sky
02. Gods Of Ancient
03. From The Gallows
04. The Longest Winter
05. Medusa
06. No Passage For The Dead
07. Blood & Chaos
08. Until The Grave
09. Frozen Illusion [bonus]
10. Shrines [bonus]
11. Symbolic Virtue [bonus]


I have been following Paradise Lost since the Frozen Illusion demo back when there was no internet and we had to rely on scarce metal radio shows and MTV's "Headbangers Ball" for our fix of new music. The band has tried its hand at death, doom, gothic and even electronic styles, but since In Requiem they have been gradually returning to their roots with every release. Medusa is another sample of greatness in a nearly thirty-year-old, more-than-remarkable career.

"The music you got into when you were 15-16 always stays with you at some degree, always keeps coming back", said Greg Mackintosh in an interview recently, and the opening track, "Fearless Sky", made me feel exactly this way. It is a bold song to choose for an album opener, being eight-and-a-half minutes long, filled with doom and gloom and hinting at the non-commercial direction they want to take. If you enjoyed "Beneath Broken Earth" from The Plague Within, you will be mesmerized by Medusa (pun intended), since it is essentially a return to their early doom - and even death - days, with fewer gothic elements than before, mainly heard in the two excellent bonus tracks. It is probably their heaviest effort since Lost Paradise and it reminds me of Shades Of God more than anything else they have released, but the band is now more mature and confident about what they want to do(om). There is only one relatively upbeat tempo track and this is the second single, "Blood And Chaos", which is set to become an integral part of Paradise Lost's live set lists and a firm fan favourite, based on its irresistible catchiness.

What is heard in Medusa is Nick Holmes growling more than he has ever done since the early 1990s, Aaron Aedy playing earth-shattering riffs entwined with Mackintosh's sorrowful melodies, and Edmondson's omnipresent bass providing a sturdy backbone. But everyone who hasn't been living under a rock in the past three decades is aware of the inseparable quartet's abilities. What comes as a surprise in this album is Waltteri Väyrynen's performance behind the drum kit. The 22-year-old Finn has already showcased his skill on Vallenfyre's record earlier this year, but on Medusa he is an absolute sensation (just listen to "From The Gallows" for a case in point of what a top-tier rhythm section can achieve). Jaime Gomez Arellano has helped accentuate Väyrynen's orgy with the sticks by gifting the drums a deep, full and organic sound and this album boasts an utterly stunning production.

The Plague Within was quite an accomplishment for the band and, compared to its predecessor, Medusa lacks in diversity, but not in quality. The difference between the two is that the former was love at first sight, while the latter is a slow-growing, yet everlasting, love.

Paradise Lost have come up with an ode to futility, ephemerality and nihilism, enveloped in a shroud of mist and blackness. The central message is to reconcile with the notion that there is nothing to long for after death and thus all we can do is live a full and rewarding life, not by seeking materialistic and meaningless pleasures, but by experiencing strong and fulfilling emotions; at the end of the day, we are all going to become part of earthly soil or turn to ashes. So throw your cloaks over your shoulders, doom metal aficionados, for the longest winter is under way.

"Feeling so alive in this hopeless dream..."


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 10


 



Written on 01.09.2017 by See them shimmy see them go,
see their painted faces glow,
slow slow quick quick slow,
see those pagans go go go go go!


Comments

Comments: 27   Visited by: 414 users
01.09.2017 - 17:06
Bad English
Masterchief
Amazing album, love it, maybe previous was heavier, but this is heavier emotionally
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
01.09.2017 - 22:18
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Bad English on 01.09.2017 at 17:06

Amazing album, love it, maybe previous was heavier, but this is heavier emotionally

This is significantly heavier emotionally and musically I think. It needs time and many spins to be appreciated fully.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
01.09.2017 - 23:27
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
Overall, a let down. Compared to TPW, this one pales. Just 2 good songs. A lot of boring moments, reminiscent of the few couple of albums before FDU-DUU.
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 03:00
Kinzoku
Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 01.09.2017 at 23:27

Overall, a let down. Compared to TPW, this one pales. Just 2 good songs. A lot of boring moments, reminiscent of the few couple of albums before FDU-DUU.

What 2 songs if I may ask?
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 03:14
Opethian
My Digi-book is on its way from Poland! Glad to read such good words about the release! Congrats PL!
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 12:39
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 01.09.2017 at 23:27

Overall, a let down. Compared to TPW, this one pales. Just 2 good songs. A lot of boring moments, reminiscent of the few couple of albums before FDU-DUU.

I have the same question as Kinzoku: which two songs? Also, In Requiem just before FDU-DUU, was awesome. Give it another try (Medusa I mean, I guess you've tried In Requiem enough by now). The first time I listened to Medusa, I thought it was a disappointing effort, but it slowly started to grow on me and now I love it.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
02.09.2017 - 16:58
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by nikarg on 02.09.2017 at 12:39

I thought it was a disappointing effort, but it slowly started to grow on me and now I love it.

It is disappointing, because it pales in comparison with "The Plague Within", which was so varied. "Medusa" consists of 8 re-visits of "Beneath Broken Earth". Where has the variety gone?
----
Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 18:16
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
Written by Kinzoku on 02.09.2017 at 03:00

Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 01.09.2017 at 23:27

Overall, a let down. Compared to TPW, this one pales. Just 2 good songs. A lot of boring moments, reminiscent of the few couple of albums before FDU-DUU.

What 2 songs if I may ask?


The Longest Winter and Blood and Chaos. No wonder the band released them as singles.
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 18:22
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
Written by nikarg on 02.09.2017 at 12:39

Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 01.09.2017 at 23:27

Overall, a let down. Compared to TPW, this one pales. Just 2 good songs. A lot of boring moments, reminiscent of the few couple of albums before FDU-DUU.

I have the same question as Kinzoku: which two songs? Also, In Requiem just before FDU-DUU, was awesome. Give it another try (Medusa I mean, I guess you've tried In Requiem enough by now). The first time I listened to Medusa, I thought it was a disappointing effort, but it slowly started to grow on me and now I love it.


I think I gave like 5 spins. Plenty to make an impression. This is not some complex prog music that requires a lot of spins to sink in. The album is average to be honest. There are no cheesy or commercial moments, it's just that the songwriting lacks on this one. Macintosh wasn't inspired this time. Sound wise it is great, nice heavy guitars, good vocals too, but that's it. The first 3 tracks in particular made me yawn. TPW had now not 2, but 7 good-great tracks. Huge difference.
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 20:04
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 02.09.2017 at 18:22

I think I gave like 5 spins. Plenty to make an impression. This is not some complex prog music that requires a lot of spins to sink in. The album is average to be honest. There are no cheesy or commercial moments, it's just that the songwriting lacks on this one. Macintosh wasn't inspired this time. Sound wise it is great, nice heavy guitars, good vocals too, but that's it. The first 3 tracks in particular made me yawn. TPW had now not 2, but 7 good-great tracks. Huge difference.

Fair enough mate. I'm still curious to know which two you actually liked
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
02.09.2017 - 20:08
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Daniell on 02.09.2017 at 16:58

It is disappointing, because it pales in comparison with "The Plague Within", which was so varied. "Medusa" consists of 8 re-visits of "Beneath Broken Earth". Where has the variety gone?

It's a doom/death record is all. It's not supposed to be diverse.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
02.09.2017 - 21:24
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by nikarg on 02.09.2017 at 20:08

It's a doom/death record is all. It's not supposed to be diverse.

You can say that about any album. And that will not make it better.
----
Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 23:33
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
Written by nikarg on 02.09.2017 at 20:04

Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 02.09.2017 at 18:22

I think I gave like 5 spins. Plenty to make an impression. This is not some complex prog music that requires a lot of spins to sink in. The album is average to be honest. There are no cheesy or commercial moments, it's just that the songwriting lacks on this one. Macintosh wasn't inspired this time. Sound wise it is great, nice heavy guitars, good vocals too, but that's it. The first 3 tracks in particular made me yawn. TPW had now not 2, but 7 good-great tracks. Huge difference.

Fair enough mate. I'm still curious to know which two you actually liked


Look up. I mentioned the two songs.

"The Longest Winter and Blood and Chaos. No wonder the band released them as singles."
Loading...
02.09.2017 - 23:37
TeachNThrash
I absolutely love this album. Must have just clicked with my personal tastes.
Loading...
03.09.2017 - 11:06
heteo
I also have been listening to PARADISE LOST since i was 15. Now I am 37. Though they were lost (for me) through electro paths - inputs it's a pleasure to listen to their albums the last decade...
ROCK OF GODS 1996..reminder!
I absolutely love this album. It grows in you.. I have been listening to it 2 days..
Loading...
03.09.2017 - 12:06
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Daniell on 02.09.2017 at 21:24

Written by nikarg on 02.09.2017 at 20:08

It's a doom/death record is all. It's not supposed to be diverse.

You can say that about any album. And that will not make it better.

It doesn't make it bad either. Diversity or variety is not a prerequisite of greatness.

Your favourite album (and one of mine too), Reign In Blood, has ten songs and most people -especially the ones that didn't live that era- can't make out which song is which. Loss (USA)'s Horizonless is another great doom record of this year and there is no variety in it either.

Medusa is not 8 re-visits of "Beneath Broken Earth", it is just a record focusing on one style from a band that usually mixes a few styles and did it fantastically in The Plague Within. This is why they chose "Shrines" and "Symbolic Virtue" as bonus tracks even though they are both fantastic songs and would add variety. And I believe they would have done it with "Blood And Chaos" too, if it wasn't so damn perfect and they probably needed something as catchy as "No Hope In Sight" in the album. "Beneath Broken Earth" was a great addition to The Plague Within, but in Medusa it would be the worst song of the record (without being bad of course).

I was a bit disappointed after the first listen, because I expected another The Plague Within and it is not. However, I never decide about an album, if I haven't listened to it at least 10 times. For a review, it is pretty much always more than 20. I am surprised you don't like it, because usually our taste is similar I think.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
03.09.2017 - 12:24
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by heteo on 03.09.2017 at 11:06

I also have been listening to PARADISE LOST since i was 15. Now I am 37. Though they were lost (for me) through electro paths - inputs it's a pleasure to listen to their albums the last decade...
ROCK OF GODS 1996..reminder!
I absolutely love this album. It grows in you.. I have been listening to it 2 days..

I think I like their last five records as much as the first five!
Rock of Gods dude seems like it was a lifetime ago..
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
03.09.2017 - 17:10
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by nikarg on 03.09.2017 at 12:06

I was a bit disappointed after the first listen, because I expected another The Plague Within and it is not. However, I never decide about an album, if I haven't listened to it at least 10 times. For a review, it is pretty much always more than 20. I am surprised you don't like it, because usually our taste is similar I think.

I listened to this album at least 10 times. It's still disappointing
----
Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
Loading...
03.09.2017 - 17:24
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Daniell on 03.09.2017 at 17:10

I listened to this album at least 10 times. It's still disappointing

That's cool. Btw I wasn't trying to "convert" you or anyone else for that matter.
----
on and on south of heaven

Loading...
03.09.2017 - 18:57
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by nikarg on 03.09.2017 at 17:24

That's cool. Btw I wasn't trying to "convert" you or anyone else for that matter.

I never thought you were
----
Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
Loading...
03.09.2017 - 21:35
R.Baldur
The Massenger
Awesome, it's released a month earlier than release date. I think it's one of the best paradise lost releases I've enjoyed a lot of heavy and melodious space on the album.
Nice review but for me it's 9.0 thank you my friend :beer2::beer:

"With God, in chaos, with sorrow to tame us
Reach for the symbol of your world
The shroud, of pathos, each symptom inflames us
Preaching the symbol of the scourge"
----
Long Live Metal
Loading...
08.09.2017 - 22:16
Sentenced Odiin
gothic.moorion@gmail.com
I agree on the fact that TPLW had more PL style variety and overall maybe the strongest release after Draconian Times, but Medusa is more into death/doom, like Shades Of God / Gothic era. Considering the style's atmosphere and the songwriting, it is a great release. For me only two songs are lacking the inspiration and a bit dry: Gods Of Ancient and From The Gallows.
----
Life has given me much, maybe taken more...
Loading...
13.09.2017 - 16:53
VAIKKAA
Facebook: Vaikkaametal
Loading...
14.09.2017 - 13:54
Balor_Yanek
This album deserves to be in the list best of 2017.
Loading...
17.09.2017 - 13:30
darkthrone
I really like it it takes a few listens but deffo a grower in my book
Loading...
21.09.2017 - 11:27
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by darkthrone on 17.09.2017 at 13:30

I really like it it takes a few listens but deffo a grower in my book


Definitely agree with this. It was the same experience for me. Love the title track especially.
----
The sun shines over The Fool...
Loading...
21.09.2017 - 21:08
MelancholiaC
"The music you got into when you were 15-16 always stays with you at some degree, always keeps coming back"

There's a part of me that hopes Mikael Akerfeldt can realize this one day.
Loading...

Hits total: 6712 | This month: 6712