English masters PARADISE LOST returned to their dark slumber in 2015 with The Plague Within. Two years later, the thirst to awaken our haunting doomed mortal reality has grown. These gothic/doom pioneers reintroduced their earlier style such as 1992’s Shades of God by providing a modernized twist with their overall fifteenth studio album Medusa, out now via Nuclear Blast Records.
The LP was inspired by Medusa, the Gorgon aka monster taken from Greek mythology – the beast with venomous snakes for hair who turned anyone who looked into her eyes to stone. The band used this creature as a pessimistic outlook. Meaning, when someone who avoids looking into the Gorgon’s eyes could represent ignoring the nihilistic reality that the universe is meaningless.
The doom begins with the lengthy “Fearless Sky.” While sludgery purges into our ears, the disturbing lyrics torments us about our frail existence. Musically, it consumes you with ominous guitar riffs and melodic progressions and continues with “Gods Of Ancient” as the drums and guitar simultaneously sets the track into place.
The intensity persists during “From The Gallows” by maintaining the dark atmosphere. However, the bass provides us with a catchier engagement. For those Game of Thrones fans, “The Longest Winter” will instantly make you feel you are on the far North of Westeros battling White Walkers. Shortly after the cold introduction, you snap back to reality, realizing you are listening to PARADISE LOST. The song moves with a darkened satisfactory style while the vocals deliver diversified dynamic ranges.
Following the musical assortment, the title track enters with distorted and gloomy undertones. The pace can feel slightly repetitive up until the halfway mark as it transpires to one of the strongest songs on the album. Not needing much of an introduction, “No Passage For the Dead” rips in with a guitar riff while provoking the consistent sludgery pattern.
Shockingly, “Blood & Chaos” provides a more uplifting beat with its turbulent movement. It adds a sliver of hope to our insignificant mortal lifespan. However, the final song “Until the Grave,” tells us how it is with its slightly atmospheric introduction. As the song progresses, it picks up the heavy and yet sludgery theme. Overall, PARADISE LOST has heavily returned with Medusa. The melodies flourish together along with a tenacious synchronization.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Fearless Sky”, “Medusa”, “Blood & Chaos”
-ZENAE D. ZUKOWSKI