One sec­ond

HOW THE MOD­ERN DOOM AR­CHI­TECTS PULLED A DEPECHE MODE AND BE­CAME THE EPIT­OME OF GOTHIC COOL

Kerrang! (UK) - - REVIEWS - (MU­SIC FOR NA­TIONS, 1997)

‘ABAN­DON ALL doom, ye who en­ter here,’ should have been the ad­vi­sory sticker that ac­com­pa­nied Par­adise Lost’s sixth stu­dio out­ing. By 1997, the West York­shire out­fit were tipped as Europe’s an­swer to Me­tal­lica, hav­ing re­de­fined the pa­ram­e­ters of doomy death metal in their be­gin­nings and tapped into a larger au­di­ence with the stream­lined gothic metal of fifth al­bum, Dra­co­nian Times. His­tory might have stopped there. In­stead, they bought a key­board and cre­ated a shiv­er­ing masterpiece in­flu­enced by goth rock­ers The Sis­ters Of Mercy.

Those that could not hear be­low the vel­vety sur­face ac­cused them of turn­ing their backs on metal, but One Sec­ond still boasted a dark heart. Gone was the in­ferno of rag­ing gui­tars, re­placed with white-hot an­themic synths that burned malev­o­lently. Mean­while, Nick Holmes’ gruff vo­cals had smoothed into a death rat­tle croon that di­arised the mal­adies of with­er­ing pros­ti­tutes (Ly­dia) and even a school shoot­ing (An­other Day).

The naysay­ers hushed up when it cracked the charts across Europe and pro­pelled Par­adise Lost to big­ger stages, big­ger sounds, and a whole new era. 20 years on, Nick Holmes looks back on the synths, the back­lash, and the hair­cuts…

WHAT SPARKED SUCH A RAD­I­CAL SHIFT IN STYLES?

NICK HOLMES (VO­CALS):“WE had spent about five years straight away from home, tour­ing Icon and Dra­co­nian times. after do­ing the same thing, day in, day out, we wanted a change of scenery, so to speak.then Gre­gor [Mack­in­tosh, gui­tars/synths] bought this En­soniq ASR-10 key­board, which you loaded sounds on with floppy disks, and that was it! We thought,‘if we’re go­ing to do this, then let’s make the best songs we can and if peo­ple don’t like it, fuck it!’”

WHAT DO YOU RE­MEM­BER FROM RECORD­ING THE AL­BUM?

“We recorded in a bunch of dif­fer­ent places so there was a lot of mov­ing around.we briefly recorded at Rock­field Stu­dios in Wales, but a lot of the gear wasn’t work­ing at the time.things like one of the chan­nels wouldn’t be work­ing on the mix­ing desk and then when they lifted the con­sole off there was a mouse run­ning through it! To be hon­est, most of my mem­o­ries from Rock­field are play­ing Com­mand & Con­quer!”

HOW DID IT FEEL WHEN PEO­PLE AC­CUSED YOU OF TURN­ING YOUR BACK ON METAL?

“It was laugh­able! Nearly ev­ery in­ter­view be­gan with the ques­tion,‘why did you cut your hair?’ I’m not ly­ing, we did prob­a­bly hun­dreds of in­ter­views and 95% of them started with that ques­tion! To me, the hair thing al­ways seemed a bit ridicu­lous and of course now no-one gives a fuck what hair­style you have. But at that time it was a big deal. I think the com­bi­na­tion of all these changes was just too much for peo­ple to han­dle!”

DID YOU FEEL VIN­DI­CATED WHEN THE AL­BUM WAS A SUC­CESS?

“I ex­pected a lot more flak be­cause I al­ways was that lit­tle death metal guy that whinges when bands change! We got more of an al­ter­na­tive au­di­ence and we were on the cover of goth mag­a­zines. I wasn’t 100% com­fort­able with that be­cause the metal scene is where I came from as a kid. But it’s okay to change. I never re­gret any­thing we do be­cause each al­bum rep­re­sents where you are at the time, and that’s where we were.”

“THERE WAS A MOUSE RUN­NING THROUGH THE MIX­ING DESK!”

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