Perhaps a lot of people know this band already but since it's virtually impossible to find *any* decent review on the WWW I'll give it a try. I could take a pick from several albums but I chose this one because I think old-style Paradise Lost has mattered FAR more than new-style Paradise Lost to metal. So much for the background drivel, let's get on with the music.
Which, contrary to the album title, is not gothic. I wouldn't even dare call it "gothic metal" since I think this term is applied too fast. A few synths, female vocals and melancholic atmosphere is not synonymous with "gothic". But then again, the lyrics do seem to have that dreary tendency... The stage is set from the first song "Gothic": mid-paced doom/death metal with, well, yes, some gothic-inspired influences. This is one of the bands that started the hausse of metal bands suddenly using big-breasted fat goth chicks on vocals. But, Paradise Lost were one of the first, they were original and innovating.
The guitars lead the music and the drums are more supporting than directing the music, accompanied by some of the most sorrowful guitar leads I have ever heard. The lead in "Rapture" just has to be heard... Room-filling melancholy, sleepless sorrow, and the slow unwinding knot in your stomach... die weeping.
Nick Holmes' grunts are very well executed and lend an aura of brutality and darkness to the music which gives the whole more power. He does a few clean vocals as well sometimes and hearing these are amongst the less preferable experiences one can have when listening to this album. This is however only a small spot on an otherwise well-done doom/death metal album.
As a last, sentimental note I would like to say that I am appalled at the way some bands seem to be cashing in, this one included. I can only advise to AVOID releases like "One Second" like the PLAGUE. Another severe case of "maturity": reason enough to be prohibited to make music. I listen to "Gothic" and I think of what Paradise Lost has become... pour some more wine, this will be a long night.
© 1999 dwaallicht