Paradise Lost – “One Second 20th Anniversary” 2CD (Music For Nations)
Widely regarded as the pioneers of English doom death and later gothic metal, Paradise Lost were like a musty breath of welcome melancholia that took away grunge’s woes in the early 90s. Through ground breaking albums like “Shades Of God” and “Icon” the band rose meteorically, finally culminating in what is regarded as their finest work – “Draconian Times”. With many awaiting its 1997 follow up with bated breath, “One Second” was nothing short of an utter shocker. While the rumors of experimentation prepared some, the departure from doom death to goth synth rock was seen by many a blade through the heart and simply a step too far. Whether planned by Paradise Lost or not, it was strangely well received elsewhere, opening new markets for them in Germany, Sweden and Finland, and when the band moved labels to EMI Germany, it didn’t come as a surprise. While Paradise Lost themselves have expressed no regrets even in hindsight, personally I moved onto other bands and it wouldn’t be until a decade later that I would return to them with the release of “In Requiem”, and funnily enough a return to their classic form. That said, “One Second” isn’t a bad album, and with this 20th anniversary edition, which has been fully endorsed by the band and special live shows to back it, one can sit back perhaps older and wiser as well as knowing that goth metal is now a fully established genre and see what the band had in mind back then. While the likes of ‘In Cold Life’ are full blown electro rock, songs like ‘Another Day’ are definitely doom death – albeit in a lite version – although mixtures of the two in ‘The Sufferer’ definitely err towards some of Danzig’s own twisted genius and show what can be done with upping the tempo and some electrowerkz. However, for anyone still raging at the controversy, the monster 18 track bonus live CD of the band’s 1998 show at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire should more than make up for it – although you might get even more upset when you listen to the somber majesty of ‘Embers Fire’, ‘Forever Failure’, ‘As I Die’ and of course, ‘The Last Time’ – oh for those glory days my friends!