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on 21 December 2001
Occasionally a music genre throws up just one or two nuggets of pure delight - genius which is never again equalled. For the Death/Doom genre, one such nugget was 'Shades of God', the first Death album I bought all those years ago, and perhaps still the finest. Even though the opening track is pretty poor, meandering almost at random, and never finding any pattern or direction, the remaining 8 songs are among the finest Death Metal tracks of all time. Musically the sound is not disimilar to the ancient Sabbath(during the Ozzie years) with a slow, but determined, fuzzy guitar chug that rarely breaks into a sprint, but never sounds tired either. The riffs are multi-layered and very intricate - at times schreeching, while at others, deep and brooding. They stick with you too, especially the simple power of the wailing riff near the end of 'Your Hand in Mine', which is underlain emphatically by the military drumbeat. It gives it a charged, questing attribute, almost noble in its emotion. Each track has a certain 'room for manoeuvre', beginning in one vein and then journeying somewhere else, and yet there is a certain order to that progression, it's natural and tightly controlled. Guitar solos ARE present on this album, but they're thankfully brief when campared to the eternal self-indulgence of the Steve Vais and Kirk Hammetts of this world. 'No Forgiveness' offers one of the best - the lead guitar flitting from speaker to speaker, so that use of headphones enhances this to sound as if the guitar is flying around your head like bird. As for the accoustic guitar parts - 'No Forgiveness' and 'Daylight Torn' both profer real beauty for a minute or so, offering into relief the otherwise malevolent brutality of this album. This was the last album by the Halifax metallers that could truly be described as Death Metal, and I believe it was their finest. The previous two albums lacked coherence and melody, while the later outings achieved these at the expense of that hard, grinding sound that was true metal. They went soft after this one basically. But on this one album, producer Simon Effemy and the band struck that perfect balance. If you've never bought a Death Metal album before in your life, but have often been tempted to give it a try, THIS is the album to get. As I say, it was the first that I tried, and it opened up for me a love-affair with a whole genre of dark music, yet VERY few albums by other Death acts came close to this one.
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on 26 November 2000
At first when i heard it i was dissapointed, but the music grows on you. It went from being my worst cd to without-a-doubt my best album. The album itself is an amazing musical accomplishment. I think this album is their greatest album followed by Icon and Draconian times. Tunes like As i die and Daylight Torn are great in everyway, dark, gothic, and very melodical. All the songs are great, this album is the roots and mother of most modern Goth-metal. Buy it !
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on 6 June 2012
Near perfect and an almost-classic (possibly a very real classic in many fans' eyes though), Shades of God was the sound of a band in transition. Since their doom-sludge origins on Lost Paradise to the more melodic and gothic, Gothic, every album seemed to have a different bent and approached with different ideas and sensibilities. Shades of God changes tack once more and moves further onto the road they were to travel in the following years; towards a more conventional heavy metal/hard rock style a la Metallica circa Ride the Lightning. This was no bad thing. Holmes' growling vocals became a soaring and rousing mixture of roars and 'proper' singing. The guitars were crisper and more powerful and the song structures veered towards the tuneful, dare I say single-worthy(?). But this was all wrapped up in a fine coat of proper metal and was not about to face the listeners of Radio 1 et al or break into the mainstream (yet). It was still a fine, underground metal album that was assured and gentle and heavy and thoughtful. But it was far more accessible than their previous efforts.

Best tracks are 'Mortals Watch the Day', 'Embraced', 'Pity the Sadness' and the excellent 'As I Die'. But there is not much of a lull in quality with the rest. They are all just longer, and a little more rambling. But on the whole this is a fantastic, fresh sounding metal album. And they would continue to evolve...
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on 24 August 2015
I was enjoying "Lost Paradise" and "Gothic" immensely when "Shades of God" was unleashed and because of the progression from the debut album to the sophomore effort, I was expecting another step in the evolution of the band. Needless to say I was quite surprised when I first played "Shades of God", as it had more of a Thrash Metal feel to it then the Doom, Death Metal of it's predecessors. Paradise Lost were progressing as musicians and song writers and the overt Metallica, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin influences were not lost on me. "Shades of God" was different but in a very good way and I took to it very quickly as there was still an extreme feel to the music. When I first heard this album I thought to myself "Finally England has an answer to America's Metallica"!! Too bad that Metallica were moving away from their extreme roots towards a more Hard Rock sound with 1991's "Metallica" album. As much as I love this album it lacks the dark atmosphere of the first two albums and in my mind that is a shame as I believe that the doom, gloom and moodiness of these efforts would have enriched "Shades of God" immensely. I still recommend "Shades of God" to anyone who loves heavy, gloomy, doomy and moody music.
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on 7 August 2011
To give a little history - this is the second time I have bought this CD. The first was when it first came out, it survived many playings and many moves but eventually just didn't last. Of course, I treat CD's much better than this now.

Historically this was the third CD of Paradise Lost's that I had heard. The first was Gothic, I then went backwards to get Lost Paradise.
They were each good, with Gothic being the better, but this CD really stood out too me. Instead of a death like grunt it is more of a sorrowful bellow if that is even possible. The vocals are not normal singing yet, but they are not death styled either.
Also, there is a much stronger sense of melody here which shows that the band was starting to find its unique sound that lead to the many changes in the future including electronica and a predominately clean vocal sound.
The riffs here though are both doomy and melodic giving a lot of the songs an unusual power. The drums were suitably powerful with an epic and when necessary thunderous feel.
At times almost upbeat, brooding, sorrowful and angry in its own tormented way this album was the first of the major UK doom acts to really get my interest. (The others were My Dying Bride from Turn Loose the Swans and Anathema from Silent Enigma).

Crying for Eternity, No Forgiveness, Your Hand in Mine and As I Die are my favourite songs off this album.
As I Die was the albums single.
This album may not have aged as well as some of there others but I have to give it a high rating just for the impact it had on me at the time. I will never really be able to subjectively review it without a somewhat nostalgic reminder of the emotions I went through with it at the time. For newer listeners, I would recommend you listen to samples first as this may not be what you expect from this band - again, given how diverse there changes were after this album musically.
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on 26 November 2000
At first when i heard it i was dissapointed, but the music grows on you. It went from being my worst cd to without-a-doubt my best album. The album itself is an amazing musical accomplishment. I think this album is their greatest album followed by Icon and Draconian times. Tunes like As i die and Daylight Torn are great in everyway, dark, gothic, and very melodical. All the songs are great, this album is the roots and mother of most modern Goth-metal. Buy it !
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on 5 February 2009
I had this on Vinyl years ago, and loved it then and sort of went off it as The Lost got lost in my opinion. Fine riffing and very clever instrumental interplay.
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on 1 June 2016
It's rare, a bit raw, but it has its own magic, it turns addictive.
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on 2 March 2015
Excellent
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on 5 March 2016
good cd
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