Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Darkly majestic, totally superb
on 7 September 2007
While I would have called myself a Paradise Lost fan for the last 4 years or so, and I have every CD they have made, I wouldn't have rated them among my "must see" top 10 until now. I always found them too inconsistent, with flashes of brilliance sandwiched between slabs of uninspired same-ness.
However all that has changed. `In Requiem' is quite superb. I liked it from the first listen, but somehow I kept it in my car for two weeks without ever feeling the need to change CDs. This is easily the best album in Paradise Lost's long, illustrious career and should, if there is any justice, mark the turning point, where acclaim is poured all over them.
My daughter is always asking me questions like "what's your favourite track" and with In Requiem it took me about 2 weeks to conclude that it is `Unreachable'. This is not because nothing stands out, the problem is that it *all* stands out. The whole album is composed of `A-sides'.
It's a dark, gloomy kind of music though tracks like Requiem provide an opportunity to slam your head against unyielding objects. The guitars are consistently perfect; the solos are precise and brief and the wall-of-noise is used sparingly and effectively. Instrumentally this is without doubt the band's zenith. Lyrically it is still Paradise Lost, so apparently meaningful lines are interspersed with head-scratching gibberish occasionally, but so what? The overall impression is one of darkly crawling power, and that works very well, thanks. Nick Holmes, always impressive, is at his best ever on this album ranging from straight singing to darkly threatening growls via a credible impression of James Hetfield. This is a band at the peak of their powers and they look poised to exceed themselves and possibly the rest of the dark metal world.
There is no track that immediately bites your face and won't let go (No `Isolate', `Erased' or `Forever After') but there isn't anything on the album I won't sing along to either. It is consistently excellent and should be the album that brings this always excellent band the wider audience they deserve.