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Open Letter To Paradise Lost

by 4th Horseman

The never-ending saga of the "sell out" band discussion continues. Upon listening to Paradise Lost's self titled 2005 release, I have concluded that such an album does not deserve a review on a metal website. But the whole fact that such albums are still marketed to metal fans is something I have gripe with. So settle down, put the kettle on fire and read as I have a few things to dish out to Paradise Lost and all you bands changing musical directions today...

Dear Paradise Lost:

First of all I would just like to congratulate you boys on yet another mediocre release. It never ceases to amaze me how a band with obvious talent can continuously crank out shit after shit and still not quit. For the record, I have a little brother whose metal taste buds are only blossoming and well…we all know how it is the basic stuff that appeals to the new generation now don't we? So anyway, I discovered this album on my hard drive (It was obviously downloaded. That I would actually pay for a new PL album is a joke not even worth laughing at). Secondly, the moment this writing is completed, I am deleting this album from my hard drive and I will spare my brother the pain and replace it with some good ol' fashioned porn instead. Readers - trust me, you will require it by the time you are done listening to it. Oh and make sure it is hetero porn…otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose.

I don't understand why you guys choose this gothic-pop oriented sound and think old school fans are going to fall for it when you make statements such as "return to the sources" or whatever. Buddy, you lost all credibility about return to form when "Symbol Of Life" was released. As far as I recall, a promise like that was made back then as well. If you want to cater to the tastes of 16 year old Goth girls, that is fine. Just don't tell us you are going back to the "sources". You are so far away from your sources right now that Sentenced even sound more faithful than you.

I can't think of any band in existence, or in history that has taken such a strong musical turn for the worse than Paradise Lost (fully aware of Metallica thank you). It is quite clear what Paradise Lost want to do with their music – Sell out. You did that a while ago, but I'm just waiting for you to admit it. If you have sold out to your fans, just say you fucking sold out. It is perfectly normal for a band to do that. How hard is it to admit it then? What? You think the doom fans are not going to notice and keep purchasing your earsoring nu-Goth crapterpieces if you don't? Progression or evolution is one thing, but going for a completely different audience is another. But even that is still acceptable. Just be honest about it and say you are going after a different crowd. Don't make false statements about return to form. That is simply the point.

I'm not saying I didn't expect this from you ladies. I completely did. However, there is always this false hope that desires a real follow up to "Icon" someday. Either go back to "Icon" and reclaim your testicles, or just shut up and don't look in my (the metalhead's) direction again. Do not claim to be catering to the tastes of your old fans; because you simply are not. Your new album is just a piece of shit reiteration of "Symbol of Life". Only that it strips down on the catchiness and cranks up the "Oh baby, why was I born?" nonsense.

What we are seeing with Paradise Lost is a phenomenon that is not exclusive to this band, but something that is quite common in metal, and more specifically, doom-death metal bands. Anathema, Tiamat, Amorphis, Katatonia, Sentenced including Paradise Lost seem to be riding under the metal banner all the while distancing themselves farther and farther from anything remotely metal. The metal market is obviously much smaller than the mainstream one. If a band wants to take the commercial route, by all means go ahead and do it. Kudos to you if you do! But don't look back to your metal fans and try to sell them your album thinking that they are going to be pleased with your musical shift. Don't make promises that you yourself know are blatant lies. The world of metal is very black and white. Middle ground is tolerable in very rare cases. None of these bands however are "middle ground" or "grey area." They are plain and simple sell outs; with Paradise Lost being the leaders of it, and therefore the poster boys of this editorial whining.

Now excuse me while I go delete this album and search for some porn!

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