Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol
Century Media
Doomy Gothic Metal
10 songs (46:05)
Release year: 2012
Paradise Lost, Century Media
Reviewed by Khelek

These guys were one of the first gothic metal acts I found that I could connect with, and for good reason. They have always been able to create deep atmospheres that keep me interested, and even with their various style changes over the years, that fact has not changed much. I do prefer the darker, less refined sound that they started out with, however I also enjoy much of their work that introduced some more electronic and industrial elements. Tragic Idol is a title that is pure Paradise Lost, it carries the theme of loss and despair that recurs throughout their catalog. This album is quite subdued in its sound compared to the past few albums, leaning far to the doom side of the spectrum more than anything else. It is an album that requires a certain mood to enjoy, and some time and attention (which I admittedly was lacking the first couple times I tried to listen to it). However, I can safely say that Tragic Idol is another excellent addition to the Paradise Lost discography.

Solitary One stars off with melodic guitar combined with distant, gloomy piano, and right away I hear the style of classic gothic metal that Paradise Lost helped create. Nick Holmes' voice still sounds excellent backed by the heavy riffs and distant keyboard notes. The contrast of his rougher vocals in the verse and clean ones in the chorus add some depth as well, and this is something that is continued throughout the album. Crucify is another doomy song that opens with massive riffs and plodding drums. However, the verse does speed thing up enough that I can definitely see a crowd really being able to get into it. The guitar work on this album, which did not impress me at first listen, is in fact very, very good. Just listen to the dissonant yet melodic solo on Fear Of Impending Hell and you get the sense that guitarist Greg Mackintosh is putting a lot of powerful emotion into his playing, yet holding himself back just enough so as not to overpower the rest of the song. I also really like the lonesome yet energetic guitar soloing on In This We Dwell. The main riffs of the song are once again pretty standard doom, albeit it all still sounds very good thanks to the production. I will admit however that the melodies used are sometimes a bit too flat and lifeless for me. It just sounds like a rehash of the band's past work sometimes, but this is a minor flaw that only affects a few songs like Honesty In Death, a track I usually skipped over along with To The Darkness. The rest of the second half of the album is very good though, I especially enjoyed the dueling melodies on the title track and the doomy hugeness that is The Glorious End.

The only real problem with this album is that it is quite one dimensional. I am sure that not everyone enjoyed the more industrial and experimental work of Paradise Lost in the late 90s and early 2000s, but I did. I liked that they were able to take their depressive, gothic sound and translate it to something more energetic yet retaining the theme of their music. Tragic Idol arguably goes back towards their roots, and while it can be slow and difficult to listen to all the way through if you're not ready to drop everything else and give it a thorough listen, it has many interesting melodies and hard-hitting, headbanging moments. Once again, another solid addition to a very impressive catalog.

Killing Songs :
Solitary One, In This We Dwell, Tragic Idol, The Glorious End
Khelek quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Paradise Lost that we have reviewed:
Paradise Lost - Medusa reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Paradise Lost - The Plague Within reviewed by Joel and quoted 92 / 100
Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
Paradise Lost - In Requiem reviewed by Crims and quoted 79 / 100
Paradise Lost - Paradise Lost reviewed by Jack and quoted 95 / 100
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