Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (2009)

Article originally published on on 28th November 2010.

Once called the British equivalent to Metallica during the mid 90's, Paradise Lost has had an up and down career to say the least.

Beginning at the end of the 1980's, Paradise Lost started out as a death/doom metal band, incorporating elements such as growled vocals from singer Nick Holmes and distorted, down-tuned guitars as is present on their first three studio albums.

By the time their fourth studio album Icon came into being, Paradise Lost had lost their death metal elements; discarding the growled vocals in favour of clean vocals and tightened up guitar tuning.

In 1995, the band released their most famous and highly regarded work, Draconian Times. This saw the band refining the sound that was first presented on Icon to produce a defining album in the gothic metal genre.

Following the success of Draconian times, the band moved away from the death/doom sound that had brought them into the spotlight in favour of a gothic rock/synthrock sound on One Second, and a sythnthpop sound on Host.

Following these controversial changes, and subsequently alienating their original fan base, Paradise Lost slowly seemed to progress back to their older style more and more on each consecutive record throughout the last decade, which brings us to Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us.

The album is certainly reminiscent of the Icon/Draconian Times era Paradise Lost, which is good news for many older fans, even though many were well and truly lost during the Host era.

Continuing the refocused sound of 2005’s self titled Paradise Lost release and 2007’s In Requiem, Paradise lost have further solidified the fact that they are purely about making quality heavy metal, devoid of all remnants of their synth and industrial past. In fact, this album is certainly their heaviest album since their very early days as a death/doom metal act.

Packaging and Sound Quality

While the LP of this album is presented on standard black vinyl, it is all of the extras that the album comes with that makes this release very special.

The artwork stands out exceptionally, with the cover art being based on the “Danse Macabre” woodcut by Hans Holbein the Younger, and created by Stefan Wibbeke.

Included is the CD version of the album, a fold out poster, and an extra 7" vinyl disc that includes the bonus Prague Orchestra versions of Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us and Last Regret.

Album waveform
Track As Horizons End waveform

Sound quality of both the LP and the 7" are exceptional. After listening to the CD, which was highly compressed and lacking significantly in dynamic range, it was a relief to hear the vinyl. Clearly a different master to that of the CD, all of the problems that were present on the CD seem to have been eliminated.

The bonus 7" is particularly interesting, and being an orchestral piece, it is easy to notice the clarity and separation of the instruments.

Paradise lost are back to a sound that made them famous 15 years ago.

Great. With content like a poster, bonus 7” and an the CD version of the album as extras, you can’t ask for much more.

Sound quality:
Excellent. Full credits go to the great mastering on this one.

Final thoughts:
Paradise Lost’s best album in years, and definitely their heaviest. With all of the extras that come packaged, any fan of the band would be wise to pick this album up.