CD Review: Paradise Lost – ‘Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us’

By September 7, 2009 September 26th, 2013 CD

Yorkshire’s most famous metal export are back with their twelfth studio album in twenty years and it’s pretty bloody heavy, seriously epic and tastefully dark. The opening track ‘As Horizon’s End’ is a pounding slice of symphonic metal goodness that attacks the senses without remorse for a full four minutes with epic skyscraping guitars standing proud against blistering drums and Nick Holmes’ trademark deep, affecting vocals.

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Follow-up ‘I Remain’ is a classic rockers’ wet dream with some absolutely anthemic guitars mixing with varied tones and brutal rockin’ beats. ‘First Light’ again sees the band utilise epic shredding and light keyboards to produce an emotive and dark anthem for the black-clad masses – this is definitely one of the album’s best tracks and it will appeal to a range of metal fans, and that most certainly includes you doom lovers. Next up we have ‘Frailty’ and it’s all about the affecting riffs that build and build towards a huge ending. Holmes’ vocals have never been better and everything fits together almost perfectly on this one. It’s our standout and we’re sure that you will be pumping your fists in time when you catch the legendary five-piece live.

Similarly, ‘The Rise Of Denial’ will hook you in almost immediately with some unusually hard-hitting vocals and deliciously addictive guitar lines. There’s a strength, and a unique anger embedded in this material that will resonate with many fans of both contemporary and classic Goth and dark music – for sure though, it’s going to make your head swing. ‘Living With Scars’ will break your face with sledgehammer riffs, clever drumming and some epic synth work – it’s probably the heaviest track on the record and it pisses all over most of the stuff out at the minute. Seriously now, you are going to have to fight the urge to bounce around like a weirdo with an air-guitar when you hear this…though, you probably won’t care so, erm…enjoy!

Last Regret’ strikes at the heart immediately and switches the pace of the album, it’s an evocative tune with striking guitars winding around heart-wrenching synth work and stomping drums. Take note, at around three minutes in you might just lose yourself in a surprise sing-a-long – this has the potential to become one of your favourite Paradise Lost tracks – trust us. Meanwhile ‘Universal Dream’ breaks the calm with some bulldozing beats, angst-ridden words and pulverizing guitars – this will grab you by the balls and pull. It’s a vicious track that will bounce around your brain for many hours after first listen. It’s built on a steady rock beat that gives way to bombastic guitars and a vast soundscape that evolves as the track progresses. Final track, ‘In Truth’ is lyrically the darkest track on offer here, and musically it will claw at your emotions and inspire your fingers to pluck at the air with abandon.  It embraces some light electronic elements but it keeps a brooding, slow pace and lets the words hit home in a way that will surely inspire old and new fans alike.

There’s so much to cling at on here. This is lyrically and musically the most vibrant and relevant Paradise Lost have sounded in a very long time. There are some neat synth touches and experimental elements that add to the overall heaviness and make this record a truly decadent metal powerhouse that you will be proud to have in your collection.


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You can also check out the album’s electronic press kit below: