Ever since Faith
Divides Us, Death Unites Us totally reinvigorated the doom metal titans in
2009, Paradise Lost have been on an ever-increasing hot streak: a renaissance the
likes of which the Yorkshire lads haven’t enjoyed since their lauded Shades of God/Icon/Draconian Times/One Second (1992–97) era.
And after The Plague
Within (2015) drew Paradise Lost unprecedented critical and mass attention thanks
to a return to their death metal-inclined roots, this year’s Medusa had a great deal to live up to. But,
being the geniuses that they are, Paradise Lost of course outdid themselves
once more, delivering a massive disc that still found itself able to explore
A lot of that new territory is embodied by the amazing
opening suite “Fearless Sky”, a slow burner that uses its
eight-and-a-half-minute length to gradually transform from unsettling and
atmospheric to crushing and guttural, the guitars of Greg Mackintosh and Aaron
Aedy blending heavy rhythms with patient leads, all while Nick Holmes casually switches
from despondent growls to resonating cleans and back again.
Meanwhile, the lead singles “The Longest Winter” and “Blood
and Chaos” make for the perfect blend of haunting and catchy, their dark yet
rock-inspired choruses giving Medusa
the user-friendly edge it needed to make it to number 56 on the UK’s Official
And that’s not bad going for a band as niche, depressing and
aggressive as one named “Paradise Lost”.