Paradise Lost
Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us

As one of the European fathers of death/doom and gothic metal, Paradise Lost has had controversial ups and downs for years. Though the band has released quality music and some great albums, nothing has been quite as monumental as Gothic, Icon, and Draconian Times. If anything, the band stayed far from that chapter of their career until 2005’s self-titled Paradise Lost hit the scene. Since then, the band has slowly harked back, edging ever so closely to their heavier doom roots. Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us is the closest Paradise Lost has come to that downtrodden atmosphere and brings the band closely to coming full circle with their career.

Personally, I lost interest with 2007’s In Requiem quickly. It was a year ender for me but as time passed it just didn’t stick. Maybe the more raw allure of 2009’s offering is what I was craving and if you are like me, this will be a year end contender as well. The progressive elements that drenched In Requiem are stripped away to expose primordial doom that were this bands signature. This record is truly darker than most of their offerings and really treks back to the earliest of their discography, minus the death growls.

One of the more accessible songs, opener “As Horizons End” is a typical track that we have come to expect with angelic guitar harmonies over lapping down-tempo chord progressions. The gloomy atmosphere continues and grows stronger as the record progresses with “First Light” being one of the more hopeless tracks on Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us.

Nick Holmes is definitely striving for that gruff edge more than ever. Compared to his delivery a few years ago, he has definitely pushed for a heavier sound. The clean sung goth vocals are obviously still present and the play between the two are evenly balanced. Though multiple listens are demanded from the listener, this grower delivers some catchy sing along choruses that you will be humming to after a few spins.

The heavy hits hard with “Living with Scars.” This track is damn near a death metal song until it breaks for an epic chorus line with soaring guitar leads. Finally, the CD ends with a very doom-ridden “Last Regret.”

I cannot see how any Paradise Lost fan from back in the day could not like this. Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us is the best thing since Draconian Times in my opinion. It may not be the bands best work but it’s a welcome dark, heavy release that most have been anxiously awaiting. Welcome back Paradise Lost.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
November 25th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: slimylimey

    Nice review Stiffy. I’ve ignored this band since the appalling One Second but maybe, just maybe, its time to give the Yorkshire lads a second chance.


  2. Commented by: Stiffy

    Go for it Slime. Let me know what you think


  3. Commented by: gordeth

    Good review. This album isn’t as immediately memorable as In Requiem was but it has more staying power. It took a little time for me to fully appreciate it but now I agree that it’s their best since Draconian Times. Plus, there are none of the filler tracks that I felt In Requiem had.


  4. Commented by: Cynicgods

    See? I told you he couldn’t growl anymore, Stiffer.

    An excellent album nonetheless. Year-end list material, fo sho.


  5. Commented by: stiffy

    I bet he can. He gets pretty fucking low on some of these songs. It’s just not his shtick anymore I guess.


  6. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Icon-low maybe. Gothic-low? Nope, no can do. He’s excused from it since he’s blossomed into an excellent singer, but you have to face facts, my friend. I’m saddened I won’t be able to hear his majestic growls if I ever get to see PL live. :(


  7. Commented by: Appollyonx

    I haven’t really cared much about them since Icon either.When I saw them open for Morbid Angel in ’94 it was a awe inspiring experience. I think maybe I’ll check this one out, winter is the perfect time for good doom anyway. :)


  8. Commented by: faust666

    not a very accurate review given the fact that the album is AOTY 2009 material.
    An absolutely stunning and gorgeous album.. Katatonia eat your heart out.


  9. Commented by: stiffy

    ^The review states it is going to be on the year end list, dude. What’s it missing?


  10. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Prostitutes? Necrophilia? Coprophagia? An Erik’s mom quote? I can think of a bunch of stuff it’s missing, Stiffer. :)


  11. Commented by: faust666

    what it’s missing is a good deal of well fuckin deserved slobbering.


  12. Commented by: Shane

    Ok fine. Eriks mom fucked a dead guy, ate her own poop, and pissed on the new Katatonia, all because her pimp Faust666 needed more money to purchase the unbelievably good new Paradise Lost album which blows away anything this year. Thank you Mrs. Thomas for being so sexually experimental.


  13. Commented by: Cynicgods

    See? That’s all it took to go from a good review to a great one. :P


  14. Commented by: Shawn Pelata

    The “appalling” One Second? Dude, that record is good…LOL!

    This new PL is fantastic…the crescendo of their recent return to form…I love this band.


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