Paradise Lost - Symbol Of Life
Gun Records
New Wave Metal
13 songs (53'02)
Release year: 2002
Paradise Lost, Gun Records
Reviewed by Jack
I can’t believe this is their ninth album… it seems to me it was only few months ago that I bought their phenomenal Gothic album over a decade ago.... time flies! I have a great deal of history with Paradise Lost since they were my favourite metal band ever until they released One Second, which was one of the biggest disappointments of nearly all my metal history. Although I have bought all of their records, I have to admit that I don’t really listen to them anymore. Every time they release a new album there’s the same rumour that says they’re back to their gothic roots. I have to say it’s always with fanatical anticipation that I wait for any new release from the band since I always expect them to go back to their gothic roots and lay down another perfect release such as Icon and Draconian Times. Both of those albums are two of my favourite albums of all time (which by the way I haven’t listened to for quite a long time so I should take’em off the shelves and come up with some reviews for them sooner or later).

This new album sees the band confirming their return to a more guitar orientated sound such as they did with Believe In Nothing a couple of years ago. Of course, it would be vain to hope for a total gothic comeback, but this damn metal touch is back with a flux of great guitar work. You can still feel the Depeche Mode influences, but the band has always had their own unique sound and this new album is no exception.

The intent of Paradise Lost, is to come up with some strong songs for each of their albums, and this time is no exception. Isolate is the perfect introduction song to this new album with its great drumming and guitar riffs. Nick Holmes’ voice remains in the same vein as their latest release Believe In Nothing, but he adds something extra that makes it even more exciting. Erased is the first single taken from the album. This is a good choice because the song is really entertaining and features the additional vocals of Lee Dorian from Cathedral as well as the female vocals of Joanna Stevens. Two Worlds features the additional vocals of a guest, but this time it’s none other than Devin Townsend. The song is a good tune in the Paradise Lost tradition, but certainly not the best on the album. Perfect Mask is one of the best songs on this album in the purest Paradise Lost tradition with a great dark and heavy feeling coupled with an electronic touch that really brings something to the songs. Mystify is to me, the best song, with it’s great choruses that stay stuck in your mind.

The digipack edition comes with a couple of cover tunes. The band has never done a very good job in the choice of their covers, except maybe for their Sisters Of Mercy’s cover Walk Away. But this time they come up with a couple of great covers. The first being a cover of Dead Can Dance’s Xavier and the second a cover of Bronski Beat’s Small Town Boy.

Although Symbol Of Life is a great album that deserves your full attention, there is no possible comparison between the band they used to be and the band they are now, but damn it, I would love to have them grow their hair and put out another great album along the likes of Icon and Draconian Times again.

Killing Songs :
Isolate, Erased, Mystify, Perfect Mask, Small Town Boy
Jack quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Paradise Lost that we have reviewed:
Paradise Lost - Obsidian reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Paradise Lost - Medusa reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Paradise Lost - The Plague Within reviewed by Joel and quoted 92 / 100
Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol reviewed by Khelek and quoted 85 / 100
Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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