2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Their best album bar none,
This review is from: Icon (Audio CD)
Paradise lost's Icon is a really superb album. It was even better than I thought it would be. This was the album where the band decided to move away from their death/doom roots. Singer Nick Holmes decided to ditch his growling voice and replace it with a deep bark that sounds quite similar to James Hetfield of Metallica. The crunching riffs of the bands earlier albums are still in force here but much of the guitar work has improved. Lead guitarist Gregor Mackintosh drives the album with his genius guitar work. The songs here are filled with his inventive, melodic guitar themes and incredble solos. His guitar work here is just genius. Experimentaion is also used here as keyboards, sound effects and timpani are all sometimes used. Icon gives the impression that every note is played with the upmosost feeling and that note a single note is wasted as they all add to the dense melodies and atmosphere of each track. This all adds together to create a genius highly original gothic metal album that is full of melancholic atmosphere. The band had created their own new sound. Icon is the only album I can think of that provides as many as thirteen songs but is still entirely consistent and without filler. The albums first nine songs all flow along creating a melancholy atmosphere and feature choppy riffs and brilliant guitar lines mixed in perfectly. if this was all the album had, it would be a superb 4.5 star album. However, I feel it is the last four songs that really push this already consistent album into five star territory, as these are among the most powerful or unique songs in the band's repertoire. Track 10 is the classic Paradise Lost song True Belief, which has its monstrously heavy riff and melodic, atmospheric chorus. Next is Shallow Seasons which is my favourite song on the album. It makes the best use of guitar on the whole album. The various inventive guitar sounds are blended with the chunky riffs better than ever and there is a nice long solo from Mackintosh. Track 12 is Christendom, the most atmoshperic and original song on the album. It features angelic female vocals as well as Nick Holmes' vocals with sound more mournful than ever this song is just dripping with atmosphere and the chanted chorus is really great. The disc closes with instrumental Deus Miseratur which features timpani and a very atmospheric piano line and seems to build in intensity through its brief running time up until the end. It is a great way to end this glorious disc. Overall, this album id just brilliant and is certainly very metal despite its frequent labelling as "gothic". Its atmosphere and genius instumentation are reasons to buy this unique and magificent album.