Ma­tur­ing like a

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums -

fine claret, Par­adise Lost have been on in­creas­ingly com­mand­ing form in re­cent years. Their last al­bum, The Plague Within, was ec­stat­i­cally re­ceived, not least due to its sheer, grue­some heav­i­ness and the band’s ob­vi­ous re­con­nec­tion with their doom roots, and to a cer­tain ex­tent Me­dusa is sim­ply more of the same. Only slower and heav­ier. Opener Fear­less Skies is an in­stant clas­sic: as mourn­ful and deftly melodic as any of the band’s older an­thems, but vastly heav­ier and, mid­way through, as close to out­right Sab­bath wor­ship as this band have ever strayed. Gods Of An­cient is sim­i­larly en­dowed with low-slung men­ace, Greg Mack­in­tosh’s churn­ing riffs bear­ing a pass­ing re­sem­blance to hal­lowed past glo­ries but, in truth, Par­adise Lost have never sounded this in­tense or dev­as­tat­ing before. Both From The Gal­lows and Blood & Chaos are beau­ti­fully suc­cinct and blessed with ir­re­sistible melodic hooks, while the ti­tle track is slow, vi­cious and ter­ri­fy­ing enough to give its tit­u­lar anti-hero­ine night­mares. The clos­ing Un­til The Grave pro­vides a dev­as­tat­ing de­noue­ment, with Nick Holmes sound­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously pos­sessed and bereft as yet more crip­pling riffs drag us down the devil’s plug­hole.

Re­leased al­most con­cur­rently with a 20th an­niver­sary reis­sue of the po­lar­is­ing One Sec­ond, Me­dusa is much closer in spirit to that mid-90s curve­ball than cyn­ics may imag­ine: this is still the sound of no­ble veter­ans driv­ing the dark heart of their music for­wards and onto new ter­rain. It’s just that a dark and scary world needs music that speaks the truth about mankind’s ac­cursed frailty. Few do it bet­ter, or with more mon­strous power, than this.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.