50 Best Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Albums Of 2017

14. Paradise Lost – Medusa

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 new territory.

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 Album Charts.

And that’s not bad going for a band as niche, depressing and aggressive as one named “Paradise Lost”.

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