Paradise Lost
Symbol of Life

Some had hoped that Paradise Lost would return to their roots with the release of Symbol of Life. Not surprisingly, they haven’t and the band continues on the same path that was first introduced to us with their 1997 release, One Second. To me, the problem hasn’t been that big due to the fact that I’ve learned to accept their changes in sound.

Actually, I’m one of the few who appreciated the band’s previous effort, Believe in Nothing. But even I must admit that it (BiN) seemed to be rather of an insecure, poisoned release. The connection between the different pieces was frail and all the parts seemed to have been combined by force, which of course could be directly heard from the actual music.

On Symbol of Life, finally the sensitive balance between analog and digital sound has been found. Blending the three previous records together into a new, working entity, Paradise Lost seems to have returned to their source of motivation. Sounding more determined and more aware of themselves than ever before. The band has been able to overcome the problem that has plagued all of their previous albums. The filler material is cut down to minimum and the wholeness of the album is the most effective that the band has ever assembled together. This has a positive downside. It’s hard to pick out the greatest song since the quality has been equally spread through out the disc.

However, songs such as “Erased,” “Pray Nightfall,” “Perfect Mask” and “No Celebration” are sure to be playing long afterwards the album has ceased from spinning. And despite of the much more modernized presentation, the songs seem to have plenty of structural connections with Paradise Lost‘s older albums. Throughout their long career Paradise Lost has continued on moving as a being that has had many shapes and forms. But once you pull out the scalpel and the ACME microscope playset, it’s apparent that the interior of the organism has remained fairly recognizable and that Symbol of Life is clearly a Paradise Lost album.

It’s also one of the better albums to come out in 2002.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
November 1st, 2002

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