Without question Paradise Lost’s most controversial album, it’s hard to believe this is the same band who released Draconian Times or The Plague Within as they eschewed all sense of heaviness and went for a more electronic, gothic tone. As such, many diehards still find it tough to stomach. But listening to the album now, one has to say it’s breathtaking.
Everything here is convincing. The songwriting is of the highest value, while the performances offer depth and class, with Nick Holmes showing he’s a vocalist who can do a lot more than growl menacingly.
Opening with the title track and continuing into Say Just Words, these are songs that breathe with intelligence and a different type of darkness to what we’d become used to with this lot. Making such a musical swerve gave the band a freedom they’d perhaps lost through being stuck in the doom mould.
Each song is well crafted without ever giving the impression that it had been overcooked, and you know the band enjoyed the experience of getting away from any formula.
The addition of a live recording from 1998 adds more value, but in the end, One Second stands proudly on its own merits.