Paradise Lost: Tragic Idol

Doom and gloom from the masters of misery.

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Crucify... Fear Of Impending Hell... Honesty In Death... To The Darkness... Yup, although Tragic Idol is a record that steers Paradise Lost away from the gothic metal sub-genre in which they made their name and reputation in the early 1990s, they retain their capacity to brood doomily on the darker side of life, or at least on the inevitable outcome of it.

Luckily (if luck is a concept that Paradise Lost are open to) the fearsome delivery of Nick Holmes and the creativity of their mighty riffage offer a palette broad enough to break the band out beyond the teenage bedroom. In This We Dwell might have come from Ride The Lightning; To The Darkness offers up Tony Iommi-style fills.

What Paradise Lost do best though is summon a slow and deathly rhythm that develops, over the course of songs like Crucify and Tragic Idol, into a kind of grandeur.

You may not want to hang around forever in their headspace, but it can be a hell of a place to visit.

Jon Hotten

Jon Hotten is an English author and journalist. He is best known for the books Muscle: A Writer's Trip Through a Sport with No Boundaries and The Years of the Locust. In June 2015 he published a novel, My Life And The Beautiful Music (Cape), based on his time in LA in the late 80s reporting on the heavy metal scene. He was a contributor to Kerrang! magazine from 1987–92 and currently contributes to Classic Rock. Hotten is the author of the popular cricket blog, The Old Batsman, and since February 2013 is a frequent contributor to The Cordon cricket blog at Cricinfo. His most recent book, Bat, Ball & Field, was published in 2022.