During Paradise Lost’s experimentation period, from the end of the 90s to at least the first half of the 00s, the… open-minded part of the metal audience waited patiently, or impatiently, for the Shadowkings to return to the ‘Icon’ or ‘Draconian Times’ sound. When that actually happened, in my opinion more successfully on 2012’s ‘Tragic Idol’, Paradise Lost did not stop there. They looked further back in time, Mackintosh went back to death metal through his Vallenfyre project, Holmes remembered growling, and thus we reached ‘The Plague Within’ and, most notably, the top-to-bottom heavy affair that was ‘Medusa’.
Finding the latter to be a little monotonous for my taste, I welcomed the discreet orchestral coating in the opening track, ‘Darker Thoughts’, and the familiar goth rock sound of ‘Ghosts’, which wasn’t as prevalent in their recent work. ‘Obsidian’ has more variety to offer, musically and vocally, combining elements from different eras. It is however missing that one song that stands out, that one looks forward to hearing at the band’s next show in Greece.
Sixteen records deep, Paradise Lost are still looking for new ways to say the same thing, to create their own, instantly recognizable atmosphere, enriching an already multifaceted discography in the process.