This is a full review of the 16th album of Paradise Lost under the name Obsidian. You will read my opinion on the album and I will show you pictures of the vinyl record I bought for my record collection. Enjoy!
If you follow Paradise Lost then you know that the word “change” is something that defines this band.
In an interview, Greg Macintosh said he’s appalled when musicians compose while trying to please someone because it is so limiting. No one can predict what their audience likes. That’s the wrong way to write music.
This phrase describes the philosophy of Paradise Lost. The band produces music the way they want without following current trends or what their fans want. And that’s something I appreciate about Paradise Lost.
I think this is what people should be doing: Doing what you love and not relying on others. If others want to follow you in what you do, that’s fine. And you will find people on your way who will appreciate you for exactly what you have to offer.
In “Obsidian” Paradise Lost didn’t show us anything groundbreaking but gave us an album that some might have been waiting for.
Paradise lost was created in 1988 in Halifax, England. Obsidian is their 16th album and, for those who don’t know it, their genres are Gothic and Doom Metal. In the past, they have experimented with synth pop, alternative and gothic rock elements and have created non-metal albums such as the 1999 Host. An album that Depeche mode would like to make, but never did.
Obsidian is a successful mix of the entire discography of Paradise Lost and the different aspects they have presented to date. It is based on the Gothic Metal period of the “Draconian Times” and the “Icon” album but takes elements from their entire discography.
The band co-produced Obsidian with Jaime Gomez Arellano, Record producer and sound engineer, who has worked with many bands, including Primordial, Opeth, Mayhem, Ghost, Cathedral and Angel Witch.
The Cover – Artwork
The cover was designed by Adrian Baxter. Adrian Baxter is a UK-based artist who creates detailed traditional ink illustrations. His work deals with issues such as death, life, occultism and nature. With the sparse use of color and a traditional approach, Baxter creates dark themes full of symbolism.
This dark aesthetic is present both on the cover and in the rest of Obsidian’s artwork and fits perfectly with the album’s musical atmosphere.
Obsedian released in 10 versions. 7 European ones and 3 American ones. The one I present to you here is the dark green/white bi-colored version, released in 500 copies.
The songs (Review)
Obsidian contains 9 songs and lasts 49 minutes. The style moves in gothic/death/doom genres and the words melancholy, doom, despair, heaviness, melodic are the ones that best describe it. As I read somewhere else, “Obsidian is the food for dark and sad souls”.
If you’re sad or just want to be by yourself and the music of Paradise Lost, there are five great songs to accompany that mood.
“Darker Thoughts”,” Fall from Grace”, “The Devil Embraced”, “Ending days”, and “Ravenghast” are the options available from Obsidian.
My top two songs from this category are “Darker Thoughts” and the incredible “The Devil Embraced” with its dark melodic piano theme. An incredible Funeral Doom masterpiece.
In addition to these 5 dark tracks, there are 4 more. “Forsaken” and “Serenity” are two Goth Metal masterpieces with great guitar themes, especially in “Forsaken” where Mackintosh plays aggressive and sharp solos.
“Hope Dies Young” is a rhythmic melodic Goth Metal rock or a dark pop song with guitars.
And I left the “hit” of the album as last, which is none other than the song “Ghosts”. A song that one could very well dance to in a Goth club. The most extroverted track on the album.
Which songs should I listen to first
If someone asked me which songs to listen to first, I would suggest three. “Ghosts”, “Serenity”, and “Devil Embraced”. And if he or she likes what he or she hears, they can safely move on to the rest of the “Obsidian” tracks in whatever order he wants.
What makes the “Obsidian” album special is its excellent, loud, and dark melodies and the fact that it sounds pleasant from the beginning to the end without skipping a song.
Those of you unfamiliar with the sound of Paradise Lost should listen to the album a few times before it starts giving you things. But every time you listen to Obsidian, you will discover something new.
Although the album revolves around the Goth-Doom metal sound, it has a great variety and you can listen to it in any emotional state you are in and doing anything.
From lying down, looking at the ceiling and thinking of absolutely nothing until you listen to it carefully, reading the lyrics in the 4-page insert, observing the cover and trying to discover the symbolism behind the artwork.
“Obsidian” synthetically and musically is one of the most mature albums of Paradise lost. Over time, it will become a classic and take its place next to the “Ιcon” and “Draconian Times”, as well as the 2005 “Paradise lost” album, which is one of my favorites.
Already a Classic?
I already consider it one of their 5 best albums. And yes, I think in the future it will be one of their classic albums.
Perhaps this cannot be understood now, because we are living in the moment while this is occurring and we have not yet processed it.
But when future generations of Paradise Lost fans who are born now will be able to see their entire discography without taking into account the current times and trends, they will give this album a very high score.
We’ve seen it happen in the past with records from so many bands that while we didn’t like them back then, we woke up one morning years later and had become classics for generations to come.
My Rating for each song
Having listened to the obsidian over thirty times I give you my rating for each song and in the end the overall rating of the album.
- Darker thoughts – 9/10
- Fall from Grace – 9.5/10
- Ghosts – 9/10
- The Devil Embraced – 10/10
- Forsaken – 9 /10
- Serenity – 10/10
- Ending days – 7.5/10
- Hope Dies Young – 8.5/ 10
- Ravenghast – 8.5 / 10
I am sure that there will be disagreements because the album has such a “variety” that depending on the style that everyone likes, it will have a completely different point of view. I would like to read what your favorite tracks from Obsidian are and have a little chat and maybe disagree.
But what almost everyone will agree on, is that Obsidian is a great record.
In total, the score of the album is
9 / 10
Closing this review, I would like to say that paradise lost have created an amazing album that will be among the best metal albums of 2020 and we will listen to it for many years.
We will see how high it will reach the top 10 of the year at the end of the 2020.