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PARADISE LOST – GOTHIC
Country : UK
Band : Paradise Lost
Year : 1991
Genre : Doom /Death / Gothic Metal
Review by : gasmask_colostomy on Metal Archives
The word “gothic” has a long history. It originally stems from the Goths of Germany (it wasn’t Germany then, but you get the picture), who were often thought of as more barbaric and savage than the other European civilisations at the time. The next time Gothic crops up is as a description of architecture in the Renaissance. It doesn’t actually refer to Renaissance architecture, but to the earlier, 12th and 13th century German style that was dismissed as crude and barbaric, despite its structural detail. The term became a byword to denounce any medieval trait, on the grounds that the era was benighted by superstition and ignorance. There’s Gothic art, which revolves around the same basic tropes as the architecture. There’s also Gothic literature, which emerged alongside a resurgence in the building style in the late 18th century, and has a strong relationship with the medieval architectural form and older, darker times. Stories are often gruesome, harrowing, and sinister: they are set in old castles or monasteries and make use of old systems, such as the feudal system (lords and peasants) and outdated religious beliefs (burning witches, say), tending to explore the darker side of man and his ability for evil, pain, and anguish.
Then there was Paradise Lost. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that ‘Gothic’ is a concept album and a mighty fine one at that. The problem is that I’m not sure how much of its unity to credit the band with. There is a very clear effort to engage with the meanings of Gothic I’ve highlighted above: the lyrical themes are based around religion, suffering, and the burial of time – one might even say that lines like “Stare at the dark foreboding walls” from ‘Shattered’ are a direct reference to Gothic buildings. The music is probably also a contribution to the theme. The words death and doom (it’s doom death that PL are playing) have everything to do with the gothic and the style, to me, has always sounded like it carries with it a strong medieval flavour. My Dying Bride’s debut and early EPs are steeped in the same kind of aged quality that gives a particular musty, rotting pungence to the music.
Read More at Metal Archives
- Dead Emotion
- Falling Forever
- Angel Tears
- The Painless
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