- Crushing Guitars
- Soaring Vocals
- Brilliant Production
29 years on since their inception and we are now presented with the 15th album from the band that was one of the first to combine Doom and Death metal and you’ll be pleased to know they are just as miserable and archaic as ever on this effort. The album feels close to the roots of their early nineties sound with many moments harking back to 1995’s breakthrough ‘Draconian Times’. Slow lumbering riffs are the basis of the majority of the records tracks in typical Paradise Lost fashion with a handful of shorter fast paced songs breaking up record later on. The sound of the warm fuzz drenched guitars and its great production make this a treat for the ear canals.
Starting with ‘Fearless Sky’, this epic begins with a quiet Hammond organ before soaring lead guitars build this hulking throwback anthem that sounds like it was taken off of 1991’s ‘Gothic’. ‘The Longest Winter’ at a mere 4 minutes plus feels like the longest song on the album bizarrely, it revolves entirely on one slow riff being played throughout the whole track in an outstanding display of minimalistic doom mastery. The title tracks recurring sombre pendulum sounding piano interludes creates the eeriest of moods as the bands dirge like riffing drives the song.
The next two tracks are much more immediate, a welcome change of emphasis after the belligerence of the records first half. ‘No Passage For The Dead’ boasts so many memorable riffs evoking completely contrasting moods whilst ‘Blood and Choas’ feels like a callback to ‘Hallowed Land’ with its intro lead guitar, lightning fast by doom standards this song is begging to be put in their setlist thanks to its mammoth hooks.
‘Until The Grave’ brings the proceedings back to a grindingly laboured pace whilst Nick Holmes’s clean vocals on the penultimate track ‘Shrines’ shows a tenderness not often explored on the album, ‘Can’t unload the lows, in the shadow of a dying light’ is a gem of introspective lyrical writing. They have gained so many different approaches to their sound over the years and they’re all executed perfectly on ‘Medusa’.
If you was being harsh you might say that this record feels slightly overlong, due to its slow pace, however this is for fans of slow expansive doom metal it has to be overlong. Perhaps you could even say that it breaks no new ground for this legendary band, yet they are one of the key pioneers of this whole sound and this album is more of a testament to what they have accomplished than a reinvention of their sound. Consistently great and often brilliant at times on ‘Medusa’, Paradise Lost have continued their return to form in spectacular fashion.