Paradise Lost
Tragic Idol

1. Solitary One
2. Crucify
3. Fear Of Impending Hell
4. Honesty In Death
5. Theories From Another World
6. In This We Dwell
7. To The Darkness
8. Tragic Idol
9. Worth Fighting For
10. The Glorious End
Bonus tracks for Ltd. Edition:
11. Ending Through Changes
12. Never Take Me Alive (Spear Of Destiny cover version)

Nick Holmes (Vocals)
Greg Mackintosh (Guitar & keyboards)
Aaron Aedy (Guitar)
Steve Edmondson (Bass guitar)
Adrian Erlandsson (Drums)

Lost Paradise (1990)
Gothic (1991)
Shades of God (1992)
Icon (1993)
Draconian Times (1995)
One Second (1997)
Host (1999)
Believe in Nothing (2001)
Symbol of Life (2002)
Paradise Lost (2005)
In Requiem (2007)
Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us (2009)


Jens Bogren (Production, mix & master)
Jean Emmanuel Simoulin (Album artwork)
Paul Harries (Photos)
Recorded at The Chapel studios in Lincolnshire, England
Mixed and Mastered at Fascination Street Studios for Nothern Music Co

Released 23/4-2012
Reviewed 26/8-2012

century media

I've been trying to write this review for a long time now and I've rewritten it so many times now that I've lost count, but to me it's important to be certain of what I really thinks about an album before I publish my opinion for everyone to see so apologies for the wait. But here it is, the 13th album from Britains darkest goth metalers and after months of listening to the album, numbers of rewrites and a whole lot of considderation here's my review of the album.

The first couple of times I heard 'Tragic Idol' it mostly just felt really dull to me and I didn't like it very much at all. The tempo is low, melodies quite monotonous and the sound is really dark. Besides this it also bothered me how Nick Holmes did his vocals through a voice distorter more or less throughout the entire album but with time my opinion changed and I could see how the melodies still kept going somewhere and how the tempo on the album was more complex than just slow - they actually play quite fast in a couple of songs, but you don't really think about it… And the vocals, well they've never seemed like the best thing with the album to me but considering how brilliant all the other instruments are you don't really look at it like they're as annoying as you could have done. However, as time went by I couldn't really stand my ground on that either...

The biggest issue I have with 'Tragic Idol' is the fact that regardless of a pretty positive opinion about the album, I've never felt like I've wanted to play it voluntarily. Despite I'd written I liked the songs in previous review-attempts I didn't want to hear any of the songs when it all came around and these intelligently constructed songs with clever solutions and nice flow all just seem so unattractive to me whenever I wanted to have some music around. As I started to think about why this was, I quickly came to the conclusion that the album just is too dark to fit anywhere. I say that despite having the probably darkest soul in this universe - had any of you had the possibility to see my inner darkness it wouldn't matter which torch you'd brought, you'd still only see a complete darkness. But even I think this album is too dark so how dark could you make an album without feeling your whole existence is otiose? Well, not this dark apparently since I feel a little bit like that when I play it.

I better make it clear that I don't think 'Tragic Idol' is a badly made album without good stuff going on, but where are they trying to go with album? You could say it's moody and uncommercially made in an uncorrected and therefore revolutionary way and to some extent I agree with you if you say that. The guitars goes on like church organs over the music and the keyboards pulls you off from the path like hidden traps in nightmares, narrated with the surrealistic distorted vocals. And the production is good, it all sound neat and tidy, but it's just so dull! It's not inspiring at all to sit through 'tragic Idol' and for months I've tried to find a useful place and time to play the album, when I want to play the album and doesn't feel forced to do it only to finish my review, but there's not a single occasion when I've found it suiting. Despite it probably being the most complete version of this Paradise Lost sound they've established with their latest couple of albums, I can't see any reason for it to even exist.

I feel the problem is how 'tragic Idol' has got stuck in this same dark sound and that they don't just stride out of it. It's like Beethoven, modern interpreted but without the climax that Beethoven always had in his music. If you think about it, the guitars even sounds a little bit like violins with their high pitched distortion and the sound is so grand and big without getting suffocating. Then there's the vocals, a bit shouty and loudmouthed, but still pretty moody. The only problem is that beethovens' music took us somewhere, Paradise Lost doesn't. It feels like they're expecting any of us, the listeners, to take the initiative and lead the music somewhere but as this isn't a computer game and we aren't able to interact with the result, the whole album just trips on its own disinclination.

I think there are a couple of good songs on this album, which mainly are Fear Of Impending Hell and the title track but the point is that the album overall maintains a quite high quality and I haven't really felt otherwise anytime as I've had this album. It's beautifully made and well played throughout the entire album, but the sad thing is that they don't broden their sound more than on a microscopic level. I kind of seeing the point of making the album, but I don't really see the purpose of it. Why should we listen to 'Tragic Idol'? I've been trying to answer that question for months now, but I just can't come up with an answer and despite this probably being the best of the Paradise Lost albums released lately, I just don't want to play it. I guess you really need to be pure black inside and like the doomish kind of goth to appreciate this album but if you do - it's a really good album! My problem is that I'm not that person.



Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Moonspell/Katatonia/My Dying Bride
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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