Tuesday, 24 April 2012

PARADISE LOST - Lost Paradise (1990)

01  Intro
02  Deadly Inner Sense
03  Paradise Lost
04  Our Saviour
05  Rotting Misery
06  Frozen Illusion
07  Breeding Fear
08  Lost Paradise
09  Internal Torment II

Paradise Lost hit their peak with 1995‘s majestic 'Draconian Times', which earned them wide praise from all over the world. As the years wore on, their debut, 1990's 'Lost Paradise' became an artifact that would remain buried in the Yorkshire band’s past. They don’t acknowledge this record much anymore, but it’s a tirade of noise and brutality that I feel is missing from the latter-day era of the band. Paradise Lost was formed in Halifax, England in 1988 by singer Nick Holmes, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, and bassist Steve Edmondson. Holmes and Mackintosh are the principal composers, with almost all of the band's songs credited to them.

While other bands testing the death/doom genre out were pushing into lengthy excursions on their debut albums, Paradise Lost didn’t go far past five minutes on any of the songs on 'Lost Paradise'. That was more than enough time to get their message out, and this message involved a heavy dose of guitar solos and machine-gun double bass drumming. Lead guitarist Gregor Mackintosh shows little restraint with his solos, finger-tapping for a solid minute on the opening to “Paradise Lost.” He fights through the uneven production and mixing, which unfortunately makes the guitars sound tiny and sterile. According to Greg, "A first album is a first album, you don't really know who you are or what your doing." According to the rest of the band this album was nothing more then them messing around with producer Hammy in a studio while drunk. They had recorded a bunch of rehearsal takes and from these recordings came the basic framework for each of the songs on this album. They took the ideas they liked and cut the ones they didn't.

Paradise Lost tend to incorporate quite a few different sections to each song, which are all rather different, and actually, only 2 songs have what I would call a chorus. Most of the tracks have about 4-5 verses, some of which are repeated more than once and while this does hurt the band in the sense of not having any major vocal hooks (there are some exceptions), it does insure that Paradise Lost can go beyond conventional song arrangements and give the listener some variation in each song. I much prefer this version of the band to the post-'Draconian Times' version, as the band seems quite spiritless and appear to be going through the motions when it comes to recording new material these days. My stand-out tracks here are "Deadly Inner Sense" and "Rotting Misery".

*The album was recorded at The Academy in Winter 1989. It was engineered by Pat Grogan and produced by Hammy. Female Vocals on "Breeding Fear" were performed by Kay Field. The cover illustration was done by Duncan Fegredo of Exploding Head Designs in 1989.

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