Company: Century Media Release: 2009 Genre: Gothic Reviewer: Raising Iron
For the fans of the mid-era output, this will be a welcome addition
Our favorite governors of the grey gardens return in '09 with their twelfth full-length in their long and varied career; Paradise Lost, like 07's In Requiem, choosing to wrap the myriad of metamorphoses they've seen throughout the years into a single cohesive unit, now give us Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us.
With a varied songwriting approach, FDU-DUU floats across much of the same ground these Englishmen have haunted before. The opener, "As Horizons End", cozies up to the Icon/Draconian Times era, and the following track, "I Remain", with its catchy, gothic phrasing, is straight out of the Host/Symbol of Life playbook. This continues throughout the album for the most part; any seasoned PL fan will immediately recognize the parallels drawn within, but there are a couple of unique twists and turns. One song immediately stands out; "Living With Scars", with its polyrhythmic riffing all heavied up, is reminiscent of an Opeth injection (some may say Meshuggah even, but this is nowhere near that technical!). Also, the title track, beginning with the clean gothic underpinnings of their late 90's output, trips into a choral malaise, the atmosphere vaguely reminding one of Shades of God or Gothic output, without the death vocals of course. Oddly, the album ends on a somewhat of a throwaway track; "In Truth", while not a bad song – love that opening riff – is just sorta there, cut from the same cloth as One Second.
As far as the production goes, this is pure bliss; all of the subtle, atmospheric nuances sparkling and crackling to the listeners delight, intent on delivering the entire spectrum of frequencies boldly and without restraint.
For those who only enjoyed the crust of the bands early death/doom output, you won't find anything here to change your mind; for the fans of the mid-era output, this will be a welcome addition to your collection, as well as those who are only familiar with their later works, or, like me, have come to appreciate and absorb every last bit of their diverse career.
Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us finds the guys' writing in top form and for the most part sticking to doing what they do best, content to deliver the melancholy they are all too familiar with.
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