Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol

Paradise Lost
Tragic Idol
Century Media
2012
6
I was very satisfied with “Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us” when it came out in 2009 as I saw the band making a turn to its roots… and finally return to its dominion where they used to rule once upon a time. I was looking forward to the new album… and I honestly had great expectations of it.
 
The title “Tragic Idol” made me think that the band was in the right way… as the cover artwork also brought memories of “Icon” on my mind. The video for “Honestly in Death” was particularly good (as a film story) but the song wasn’t that strong. Bearing in mind that Paradise Lost are choosing mediocre songs for videos or singles most of the times… I was keener to listen to the whole album. Surely, the album picks up from where they left with “Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us” meaning that the band is moving in their known heavy, gothic, doom, melodic metal style. Unfortunately, this wasn’t exactly what I was looking forward to… without meaning that it’s bad or anything like that. It’s just too generic and forgettable… Paradise Lost had done much better albums than this one in the past. I am sure they still can do. Yet, I don’t even think that any song will be regarded as an eternal hymn from the band’s big catalogue. To make it clearer… there’s no “Last Regret” in this album… that no matter how many years  pass it will always be among the best tunes of PL. And I pick up a song from the previous work… on purpose… cuz if we dare to go back then we will certainly be in trouble. Furthermore, there are some heavy metal riffs in the album that are not helping the whole thing at all… for example, the ala Metallica basic riff on “Crucify” is not appealing whatsoever… the same goes for the traditional heavy (with a bit of black metal) riff of “In This We Dwell”. This isn’t what we want from them and this ain’t what they used to deliver back in the day. On the other hand, the production is excellent. In any case, what are the chances of going wrong when working with Jens Bogren (Katatonia, Opeth, Bloodbath, Soilwork, Kreator etc.)?!
 
I know that Paradise Lost will claim that this is their best album and so forth… but isn’t that what all bands are saying for their new works? Of course, time will tell for each one of the album and the love of the fans that will support them throughout the years. I’ve been a Paradise Lost fan since 1993 when I first took the gatefold double vinyl of “Icon” in my hands… which, I think, is not only their best work to date but one of the most inspiring and influential albums of all time… but I believe that perchance, Paradise Lost have lost their magical touch… even though “Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us” showed that they were back in the game even for a while. To cut it short, “Tragic Idol” won’t be regarded as one of the significant works of Paradise Lost but it’s a fine above average album… but that’s not enough for a band of their size…