Paradise Lost - _In Requiem_
(Century Media, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (
"Progressive old-timers" is what Wikipedia calls us; those fans for whom Paradise Lost didn't cease to exist post _Shades of God_. And I'll be the first to admit that the Yorkshire quintet severely tested even a loyal fan like myself when they released the insipid _Believe in Nothing_ in 2001. Two stellar efforts later however, and _In Requiem_ is as solid and assured a record as any the band have put their talents to.Brought to us on the back of promises of being heavier and more aggressive, "Never for the Damned" takes us by the scruffs of our neck and impetuously introduces us to the group's eleventh full-length. Prefaced by a riff that could quite comfortably have nestled itself on any of _Icon_'s twelve tracks, the opening doom larghetto bleeds into a lead that is classic Paradise Lost in every sense. "Ash & Debris" opens on an equally acerbic, if somewhat more up-tempo note, giving way to a thundering and infectious chorus.The only real misfire on the record turns out -- quite ironically -- to be the forthcoming single, "The Enemy", which is simply too pedestrian to be anything but a throwaway moment. For the remainder of the record's fourty-five minutes, the band are convincingly on the mark. Some tracks are more memorable than others, and it's unlikely that _In Requiem_ will change the mindset of many of their detractors; but on the whole this is prime Paradise Lost, coming up trumps by virtue of their sheer, enduring ability as expert songwriters.
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