Paradise Lost - Believe In Nothing review
|Album:||Believe In Nothing|
01. I Am Nothing
04. Look At Me Now
06. Something Real
08. Sell It To The World
09. Never Again
11. No Reason
12. World Pretending
13. Sway [Japanese bonus]
14. Gone [Japanese bonus]
15. Waiting For God [Japanese bonus]
If there is a Goth Metal band that needs no introduction, then that would certainly be this genre's "official" originators, Paradise Lost. It is also perhaps obsolete to mention for the thousandth time how they moved from their initial Death/Doom sound to a much more radio-friendly synthesis of Goth Rock, Synthpop and various other non-metal influences, only to reemerge as a real Goth Metal act with the last couple of albums. "Believe in Nothing" might just be the very peak of their radio-friendliness, even despite the fact that their previous album "Host" has absolutely nothing to do with metal or rock whatsoever.
There is a rumor going around how the songwriter, Gregor Mackintosh, stated that this album does not actually exist to him, as its making was under complete control of the label. And boy, does it show! Naturally, labels want the records they produce to sell well, and that means making the music as easy for the casual listener as possible. "Believe in Nothing" fits into this role perfectly. It is an amazingly catchy, at times very fun to listen to, but shallow and simple piece of music.
Unlike "Host", the guitars are very prominent here. Don't think that this means the album is heavy, or that the riffs are a technical masterpiece, however. They are kept simple, and more in the supportive role, while various electronic sounds flow together and set the stage for Nick's wonderful baritone. I don't know if this is because this album is very vocally driven, but I've never heard Nick do a better job with his clean singing. Oddly enough, the atmosphere is still kept bleak and melancholic through the majority of the album, so even a die-hard fan of early Paradise Lost can find at least something enjoyable."World Pretending" and "Divided" for example. The thing that is perhaps the biggest flaw of this album is that every song, from the first to the last, follows the same kind of simple, classic rock structure. Opening section, a quiet part where Nick sings, vocal driven chorus, repeat, without even a slightest desire to spice things up. Give the song something new, something we wouldn't be able to predict.
It's not that bad, though. "I Am Nothing" features a wonderful riff, and one of the catchiest choruses I ever heard. "Mouth" is a classic example of how to make a chart-topping rock song and "Look at Me Now" has a slightly psychedelic effect on the listener. The problem is that many other songs feel like fillers, though. I never understood what the hell "Control" and "Sell it To The World" are doing on this CD, besides increasing the album's length for another 6-7 minutes.
I normally don't do this, but I left this album without a rating. Why? Giving a high rating to something this simple, shallow and unvaried would just not be fair, but at the same time I remember how "I Am Nothing" and "Something Real" refused to get out of my head for days after I first heard them, and I can't force myself to give an album with such songs a low rating. The review itself will have to suffice.
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