The sixteenth Paradise Lost studio album, ‘Obsidian’ eschews its immediate predecessors’ gruesome, myopic approach in favour of a richer and more dynamic deluge of black shades. From the deceptive elegance and dual atmospheres of opener ‘Darker Thoughts’ through to the crushing, baroque doom of war-torn closer ‘Ravenghast’, ‘Obsidian’ reveals a band in masterful control of a broad array of vital ideas. Most noticeably, the record boasts several songs that draw heavily from the much-loved, Kohl-encrusted days of ‘80s gothic rock: in particular, newly-minted ‘Paradise Lost anthems ‘Ghosts’ is a guaranteed dancefloor-filler at any discerning goth nightclub.
Produced by the band themselves, with the assistance of noted studio guru Jamie ‘Gomez’ Arellano, ‘Obsidian’ is another compelling showcase for Paradise Lost’s ever-blazing passion for forging ahead. Fans of the last two albums’ back-to-basics ferocity will be well served by the menacing, scabrous likes of ‘The Devil Embraced’ and ‘Serenity’, while those of a more gothic persuasion will be instantly mesmerised by ‘Ghosts’, icy anti-ballad ‘Forsaken’ and the gloriously morose ‘Ending Days’. In between those extremes, Paradise Lost continue to warp the edges of their long established musical identity, resulting in some of the boldest and most adventurous songs of their career to date.