Paradise Lost - Shades Of God review
|Album:||Shades Of God|
01. Mortals Watch The Day
02. Crying For Eternity
04. Daylight Torn
05. Pity The Sadness
06. No Forgiveness
07. Your Hand In Mine
08. The Word Made Flesh
09. As I Die
After the monumental and utterly influential for the gothic/doom metal scene of the 90s "Gothic", Paradise Lost parted ways with Peaceville Records and signed a contract with the rising Music For Nations. The number of their fans had grown and everyone was waiting for the third official release of this shrouded by darkness UK band. Finally, "Shades Of god" saw the light of day back in 1992.
The compositions have become groovier and less complex whereas the guitars sound heavier keeping an intense sense of doom (am I the only one that finds in "Shades Of God" a Black Sabbath touch in the guitars at times?) bearing the exceptional signature of Greg Mackintosh. Nick Holmes' grunting voice is still there, yet not so deep as it was back in "Lost Paradise" and "Gothic", but without losing in emotion and expression. The suffocating dark atmosphere that only Paradise Lost know how to evoke unleashing grey emotions of bleakness and decadent melancholy in the air is always there, helped this time by a much better production, drowning the listener in a sea of oblivious tears under the secret eye of the "shades of god"…
… that opens with a monumental song, "Mortals watch the day". The guitar work is stunning paving the way for Holmes' grunting voice to interpret lyrics of pure desperation filling your heart with freezing emotions. The album flows with "Crying Eternity" and "Embraced", this one in a bit faster mood, in a doomy way with slow guitar riffing, accompanying rhythm section and Nick Holmes' expressive grunts; but still, only Holmes' grunts can't make a song great. After a great opener and two just good compositions, "Daylight torn" comes to raise the interest of the listener to high levels. Holmes' ecstatic grunting voice harmonizes wonderfully with the inspired guitar riffing while at times beautiful-sounding acoustic guitar chords paint the soundscape with bitter colors enriching the desperate dark atmosphere.
"Shades of god" flows wonderfully with a masterpiece, "Pity the sadness", and Mackintosh burns the shrouds with his flaming guitar as some acoustic parts evoke a serene melancholic feeling in the air at times whereas Holmes grunts ecstatically filled with anger and pain coming straight from his heart, expressed straight from the throat. Sadness and grief knock the door at your darkest hour as "No forgiveness" starts echoing and shadows surround you; the mourning guitar riffing and Holmes' grunting voice evoke a distressing atmosphere as the rhythm section holds tight the song. "Your Hand in Mine" follows and clear vocal experimentations in a gothic vein make their appearance at times. The guitar riffing is fabulous and ranges from slow guitar ideas to distressing guitar solos paving the way for Holmes' haunting interpretation.
The album flows with "the World Made Flesh", a mid-tempo groovy composition with exceptional atmosphere-evoking guitar work and Holmes' grunts strengthening the feeling of dismay that floats in the air leading "Shades of God" to its end in the most appropriate way, with a real masterpiece of inspiration and emotion, "As I Die". The rhythm section evokes a dying pulse in the air whilst the guitar work is stunning and deeply inspired harmonizing in a perfect way with Holmes' interpretation with every single word he utters being a final dying vision.
"Shades of God" back in 1992 was an album showing the soundscapes that Paradise Lost would explore in the forthcoming future with "Icon" and "Draconian Times", at a primary phase though, but also having a connection with the glorious recent past, a fading one. A must-have for all the Paradise Lost fans and not only!
||Written on 24.01.2005 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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