My opinion? They're one of the greatest sodding bands to have walked this planet. Period.
This band has broken musical barriers other bands can only dream of, right from the very outset of their career when 'Lost Paradise' came out and shook the foundations of those of us who were just used to heavy metal, thrash and death metal. Sometime later, the Yorkshire five-piece reformatted themselves and their sound yet again with 'Gothic', thus forming a genre. The amazing thing is that Paradise Lost never stopped doing this. They've kept challenging themselves, tried new, tried going back and forth in their own history, yet always stayed true to their slightly wry and sarcastic attitude and style.
Off late, Yorkshire's proud sons have been a trifle more nostalgic than I expected. They've been celebrating the 20th anniversary of 'Draconian Times', sending out a collection of early demos, and now in the 25th year of this wonderful band's history, we have this collection of rare recordings with just one previously unreleased track, the newling Loneliness Remains. It's an alright track, by the way. It's an 'Icon' period type of song, which is of course cool. Won't change the world this track, but it's alright. And to be honest, this is the feeling I have with most of this album. It's alright. No big shocks. Just good, solid music.
When I listened to 'Tragic Illusion 25' the first time, my ears sharpened the most when the rerecordings of Gothic and Our Saviour were about to be unleashed from the loudspeakers. What I realised immediately was in fact only that these two songs always were and always will be immensely strong tunes - also when reinterpreted by the 2013 version of Paradise Lost.
As an old fan of Paradise Lost, you'll feel right at home when you listen to 'Tragic Illusion 25'. You won't be shaken as you've experienced it so many times with this band, but nevermind - you'll enjoy it anyway. Cheers to Paradise Lost for the first 25 years!