Paradise Lost: Vocal growls are like another instrument

Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost frontman Nick Holmes says he treats his growling vocals like another instrument.

They’re gearing up to release their new album Medusa, which will launch on September 1 via Nuclear Blast, with the follow-up to 2015’s The Plague Within seeing Holmes return to his vocal growls.

And asked in a new Metal Hammer interview whether his vocal style opens new avenues in the band’s sound, Holmes responds: “I guess so, because if you’re trying to avoid the growling, it’s already making songs not as heavy as they could be because the songs always had heaviness to them.

“It’s not even aggression, it just adds something more to it. It gives it a more demonic edge I suppose. I’ve always thought of the growls as another instrument anyway.

He continues: “From a writing point of view, it’s important to make them hooky. You’ve got to remember where they fall on the notes, because barking like a dog – and I found a lot of bands got into that – that’s why I got bored of death metal.

“If you can shape them so they work with the riffs, the rhythmic thing is really important. If you get that, it works. If you’ve got a massive doom riff, you’ve got to growl on it.”

Guitarist Gregor Mackintosh reports they experimented in the studio when it came to the vocals, and adds: “We tried every avenue before the growls.

“We had 10 to 15 versions of each song as we were writing them, trying every single vocal style out until we thought, ‘Yeah, that sits well in that.’

“It just so happened that 80% of it was gruff, but we never planned it that way.”

The full interview with Paradise Lost can be read here. Find the Medusa cover art and tracklist below, along with a list of the band’s 2017 tour dates.

Paradise Lost Medusa tracklist

  1. Fearless Sky
  2. Gods Of Ancient
  3. From The Gallows
  4. The Longest Winter
  5. Medusa
  6. No Passage For The Dead
  7. Blood & Chaos
  8. Until The Grave
  9. Frozen Illusion (Bonus)
  10. Shrines (Bonus)
  11. Symbolic Virtue (Bonus)

Paradise Lost 2017 tour dates

Jul 21: Katowice Metal Hammer Festival, Poland
Jul 22: Esslingen River-Side Festival, Germany
Jul 30: Barcelona Rock Fest, Spain
Aug 03-05: Wacken Open Air, Germany
Aug 11: Graz Metal on the Hill, Austria
Aug 13: Kortrijk Alcatraz Festival, Belgium
Aug 18-20: Saint-Nolff Motocultor Festival, France
Aug 25-26: Worrstadt Neuborn Open Air, Germany
Sep 27: Esch-SurAlzette Kulturfabrik, Luxembourg
Sep 28: Herford X, Germany
Sep 29: Copenhagen Pumpehuset, Denmark
Oct 01: Oslo John Dee, Norway
Oct 03: Helsinki Nosturi, Finland
Oct 07: Aarhus Voxhall, Denmark
Oct 10: Brno Fleda, Czech Republic
Oct 11: Bratislava Randal, Slovakia
Oct 13: Belgrade Dom Omladine, Serbia
Oct 14: Zagreb Boogaloo, Croatia
Oct 15: Budapest Dürer Kert, Hungary
Oct 18: Nuremberg Hirsch, Germany
Oct 19: Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany
Oct 20: Saarbrücken Garage, Germany
Oct 21: Geneva L‘Usine, Switzerland
Oct 28: Fontaneto D’Agogna Phenomenon, Italy
Oct 29: Munich Theaterfabrik, Germany
Oct 30: Pratteln Z7, Switzerland
Nov 03: London Electric Ballroom, UK
Nov 04: Leeds Damnation Festival, UK
Nov 06: Utrecht Pandora, Netherlands
Nov 07: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Nov 08: Cologne Live Music Hall, Germany
Nov 09: Berlin Columbia Theater, Germany
Nov 10: Weissenhäuser Strand, Germany

In The Studio: The story behind Paradise Lost's doomy new album Medusa

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.