2005’s ’Paradise Lost’ in many ways marked a new beginning for the fathers of goth metal as the guitars were dragged into the ring again and pushed away the Depeche Mode overkill.
On ‘In Requiem’, only two tracks, Unreachable and the intro to Your Own Reality, lend to the feel of the pop sounds of ‘Host’ and ‘Believe in Nothing’, and the former is merely a nice, light breather in all the heaviness of the rest of the album.
In a move that pleases yours truly immensely, the band has kept the guitars and gone more goth and heavy than they’ve been for ages. Although we’ll probably never hear Nick Holmes do the grunts of ‘Lost Paradise’ and ‘Gothic’ again, he’s definitely taken things a tad deeper and rawer in more than a few instances on ‘In Requiem’, and it’s indeed a welcome direction for him to take.
My three faves are probably Never For The Damned, Ash & debris and Prelude to Descent, the without question most heavy tracks of the album, the first reaching back to the sound of ‘Shades of God’, the second a more determined, straightforward metal track with beautiful, intertwining melodies, the second half of the song turning into an anthem the way Paradise Lost can do them. Prelude is a real doomy track in true British fashion.
Definitely worth noting is also the first single from the album, The Enemy, with its haunting intro and heavy rhythm-oriented drive. Another haunting intro is found in Praise Lamented Shade, a mid-tempo, almost ballad-like tune with a monstrous floor of bass.
The title track, Requiem, is a mixture of the songs of angels and the devil’s darkness. Beautiful and sinister at the same time. A fairly simple underlying rhythm, but with a complexity created by guitars and synths.
The quality, solidity and heaviness of this album ought to put Paradise Lost back on the metal map if ‘Paradise Lost’ hasn’t already done so for you guys out there. Get thee to the nearest record shop or download store and get this by the 21st of May!