Paradise Lost - In Requiem
GOOD: beautiful, simplicity, packaging, songwriting BAD: similarity, longevity factor
If beauty is ever a justification, then perhaps this is no sin. Paradise Lost’s new album, In Requiem, found its way into my tiny collection of CD’s, simply because I was blown away by the cover art. Never judge a book by its cover – I did and I found it to be perfectly suited. Paradise Lost offers the listener a journey into some terrifying place – helped along by the beautiful artwork and photographs. Upon first looking at it, this album without a doubt is in the Top 5 greatest CD packaging I have ever come across. The music contains the darkness we expect, but maybe something a bit more frightening… hope?
With a name like Paradise Lost, one can’t help but expect adjectives like “epic” “immense” “grand” and so on, to have links to it. And In Requiem shows us just that. The first track is one of the best openings to any album – the inverted sound is reminiscent of Lacuna Coil’s Swamped, as an intro to Comalies. The first line always sends shivers: “Never saw the light against the world…”
“Wow” was my first response, and I expect the same from others. I had never listened to Lost before this – and it remains the template, from which I will contemplate all other Lost albums.
The songs are all pretty similar – and being a Prog person myself, this gets to me. I need variety. I need to be surprised. This is one of the failings of this album. However, one could say that it is exactly the premise for the band’s sound. All well and good, but it doesn’t mean I have to like sameness. The vocals are amazing: going from typical Goth-male vocals (Beseech, My Dying Bride) to atypical metal singing, with a hint of a growl, a hint of fragility (Opeth, Machine Head, Katatonia).
Innovation arises in the artwork and the imagery created from the soundscape. The temporal framework is the synthesis of the entire band, working as one organism. You are thrust into a world at once too bright and too dark, too loud, too soft, silence and thunder. As the guitarist said in an interview, “We are trying to find a balance of beauty and ugliness…” And one feels this dance and this constant battle – the result of this conflict is the music itself.
The top 5 tracks are: the first three, as well as the tracks 7 and 8. The songwriting is superb! I absolutely adorer this album. The production quality is unbelievable – if I was in a metal band, I would hope to sound this good. This would be my aim in production.