The Plague Within
Review by Adam M on June 3, 2015.
The Plague Within adds more dynamics to the Paradise Lost’s core sound to diverge away into an appealing new direction. The addition of growls to the clean vocals allows the band to manipulate their tone to their own liking. The band also builds on the melodic style of recent material by incorporating more sludgy doom sections to the material. The overall result of Paradise Lost’s efforts is an expansion rather than a regression. This will hopefully quell some of the critics that think the band has been sticking too greatly to a standard sound without changing it.
This varied approach also triumphs over last year’s strong Bloodbath album with Nick Holmes at the helm. The fact that Paradise Lost still successfully wields a melodic side at every turn is one large reason for this. In fact, the early and later portions of the album display strong tracks like Terminal, An Eternity of Lies, Punishment Through Time and Return to the Sun. All of these songs have a strong melodic aspect. The weakest part of the release is actually the very middle portion of the album with the track Beneath Broken Earth that tries to rely too much on a pure doom style with no clean vocals. Still, the album is remarkably consistent, as with a large portion of Paradise Lost’s discography. The songs are also of the perfect length to showcase both versatility and memorability.
It might take a bit of time to become readjusted to the new vocal style, but this album is a step in the right direction for the band. It displays a band that is unwilling to become redundant in their sound and make use of all of the elements available in their repertoire. Whether The Plague Within is superior to the band’s last phenomenal album, Tragic Idol, is up for debate. However, whether Paradise Lost remains one heavy metal's leading acts after a very strong history is, in this reviewer’s opinion, no longer debatable.
Rating: 9 out of 10