Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
25 September 2009

01. As Horizons End
02. I Remain
03. First Light
04. Frailty
05. Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
06. The Rise Of Denial
07. Living With Scars
08. Last Regret
09. Universal Dream
10. In Truth
11. Cardinal Zero [Limited edition bonus]
12. Back on Disaster [Japanese bonus]

Who hasn't heard of Paradise Lost? They are considered as one of the pioneers of the so-called Death-Doom genre (the others being My Dying Bride and Anathema), although they are not unfamiliar in the gothic scene either. Wandering aimlessly in the already-saturated electronic wilderness during the late '90s, they made a welcome yet unsuccessful return to their roots with Paradise Lost in 2005. In Requiem rose from its ashes two years later with devastating effect, and now we are presented with PL's latest, Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us. Will it live up to the hype, or will it fall flat on its face, dismissing any notion that the once mighty Paradise Lost has indeed been resurrected from its grave?

Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us continues from where In Requiem left us. Musically speaking, the new, heavier Paradise Lost is, quite frankly, heavier than ever. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, on the contrary, they know their role well and don't fool around with over-the-top wankery. Their approach of music is to the point and with full force. Holmes' signature voice is everpresent and complements the songs really well, as expected. The production accentuates the overall sound of the album, and that is always a welcome factor in my book. Furthermore, there are a few nice "add-ons" of sorts, an example being "Living With Scars," where some of the most complex riffs they've ever wrote can be found. On a more personal level, my favourite track has to be "Frailty," with the drums blazing away in the background amidst a barrage of heavy guitar riffs. Really good stuff.

Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us is not without its cons, either. The album is definitely more consistent than its predecessor, but there is seemingly a lack of ambition in their songwriting. This album does not have too many soaring highs as opposed to some of their previous albums, only a well-rounded collection of good songs that will keep your fingers wrapped for a good while, but not forever. Is it original? Not really. Think of it as the original Paradise Lost sound, being clad in a knight's armor. Heavy, solid, but certainly not original.

The verdict? Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us is definitely an enjoyable album. Does it live up to the hype? It does, but only just. Is it their best? Not by a long shot, but definitely not their worst either, and that's saying a lot because I enjoy almost all of their stuff, electronic or non-electronic. Older fans will love it as well. All in all, Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us appears to be right in the middle of things, but is nonetheless an entertaining album above all else, and that's what matters in the long run.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Band profile: Paradise Lost
Album: Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us


written by Homer S. | 18.12.2010

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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WorpeX - 18.12.2010 at 03:19  
Good review, Its spot on! Very true about the "well rounded collection of good songs" part. I can't really recall which song stands out the most besides the title track, but I know they are all great songs!
Richard - 18.12.2010 at 03:50  
Agreed, this is a well written review of a very good album. I also "enjoy almost all of their stuff, electronic or non-electronic", so it's good to read a review written from the perspective of someone who appreciates the different paths that the band's taken over the years.
Kennoth - 18.12.2010 at 04:17  
I thought I commented on this before. Well, I'm not really feeling this album. Or to put it bluntly, it disappoints, one of those one hit wonder albums. I REALLY love the title track, but the rest is just meh.

In Requiem was so much better as a whole.
CyberSymphony - 18.12.2010 at 13:08  
I thought this album was just as good as In Requiem, much heavier and still a great sound. I definitly agree with the rating and the review.
Deadmeat - 18.12.2010 at 22:11  
Nice review. i'd rate this album a bit higher though...
Marcel Hubregtse - 18.12.2010 at 22:29  
Finally a totally enjoyable album by them again. Their best by far since Draconian Times.
fabregassed - 10.06.2011 at 01:28  
The only song I can enjoy on this album is ''The RIse of Denial''.

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