Customer Reviews: Tragic Idol
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on April 26, 2012
I completely disagree with the first reviewer ( KOURKOULOS NIKOS ). I think this is the best album this guys have released since Draconian Times, and that's saying a lot. The fact that this album is so reminiscent to Icon and Draco, my two favorites by them, can also be a factor to make me like it even more than their later stuff, but since in the past few years they had made a comeback to their original goth/dark sound, this record cannot be compared to their late 90's - mid 2000s synth/poprock melodic stuff. This record has their original sound, so if you are looking for their mellower melodic radio synth pop ala Depeche Mode stuff, this is not your record. This new songs sound like some of the stuff you could find in their early- mid 90s era. If that's your thing, we are on the same page. This is a heavy album, and a very melodic one endeed. In my opinion, this is most melodic stuff they have come up in years.

Old fans are quite happy that PD made an extreme sound shift their to old sounding classic records on their last two albums (which are pretty good), but to my ears, this record sound WAY more inspired than those records. Those two new records are good, but they lacked something. That something, which I don't know how to describe, I found here. The Tragic Idol is the album I was waiting from this guys.

To the record. Almost every song, if not all, are arranged beautifully and tastefully, and in some moments, range into the amazing. Since I pressed play, I was truly blown away by how tasteful, dark, heavy, atmospheric and melodic their new stuff sounded. The record production is immaculate! The composition is absolutely inspired and the vocals are amazing. But what really destroyed my senses was how beautiful the guitars fit into their old/new sound. Layer after layer after layer of guitar melodies on top of each other and above some of the most awesome dark riffs PD has composed in years. And even though this record is very heavy and doom, it's also VERY melodic, but If your looking for melodic as in catchy ala One Second, I may say that some of that stuff is also here, but not as prevalent. The music is dark, heavy, very melodic, quite agressive at times, and in some occasions, sad (in the beautiful way). This is the best guitar stuff this band has recorded in years! The guitar work are really what make this record stand out. The drumming is also quite extraordinary and it has a more metallic approach than on previous records. A lot more signature changes, up beat, fast, double bass. Quite creative for a PD record. And the last thing that I should stand out is Nick Holmes EXTRAORDINARY vocals sessions for The Tragic Idol. This is by FAR some of the best stuff he has ever recorded. He is just flawless on energy, melody and reach!

I will give this album and absolute five stars. And for me, this is the real continuation of the Icon/Draconian era.

I love this record.
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on May 9, 2012
This is undoubtedly one of the best metal albums of 2012. A bit of background - I was (and am) a huge fan of Gothic when it was released (yes, that dates me). I kept up with Paradise Lost through Draconian Times and then lost interest. I have some of the later stuff, it is good, but doesn't capture my attention. Then the Vallenfyre side project was released, which is fantastic, so I had to check this out.

From my perspective, this may be the best Paradise Lost album. Ignoring comparisons to past work (different folks hear different parallels), the key with Tragic Idol is that the songwriting is brilliant. Song after song, the riffs and melodic structures are fantastic. The vocal work complements the guitar work perfectly - heavy when it needs to be heavy, lighter when it needs to be. The result is one of the most well-crafted metal albums I have heard in recent years.

A bit of an update to my review. . .thinking about this album a bit more, I figured out why I like it so much. Much of the song writing is very reminiscent to the structures (though not necessarily the exact sound) of Gothic and Shades of God. Effectively, the rhythm guitar lays down a "crunch" with the lead playing a clean melody line over the top. This is basically the approach on classic songs like Shattered (Gothic), Rapture (Gothic), As I die (Shades of God), and also used for Vallenfrye (though with a much heavier sound there). But indeed, I have been weighing this against their back-catalogue and it really is one of if not the best - lots of great hooks with some of the catchiest work at the end of the album.
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on May 2, 2012
I have been a fan of Paradise Lost since first hearing "True Belief" back in 1994. I love most of the albums they have put out with the exception of "Believe in Nothing". Yes I am a fan of "Host" but prefer them to sound more like they do here on "Tragic Idol". It really paid off for these guys to revisit "Draconian Times" on their recent tour and for Gregor to get his death metal fix from Vallenfyre. This album is easily their best in years and is really a return to the sound from "Shades Of God" through "Draconian Times" era of the band. Fans should eat this up and new drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, Cradle Of Filth) whose drumming is the best the band has had in years as well. He really knows how to play well no matter how heavy or soft the music is. The music is amazing and very emotional. It takes multiple listens to fully sink in just how amazing this album is. I loved their last album "Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us" but find this new album to be so much better. This is a true return to form and I think any fan of the band should love this album from start to finish.
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on April 29, 2012
This is an album that requires multiple listens in order to get the most out of it. It's not "immediate" - no real radio singles here, as if PL ever really wanted that in the first place - and I think that's a good thing. The album starts out "really good" and then continues to get better from there.

I'm not going to bother comparing this to their older albums: "Draconian Times," "Icon," (probably) "Gothic" are all considered classics for good reason. But...those albums clearly had their roots in death metal. This album is in the heavier vein they re-embraced on their self-titled album, and that continued through "In Requiem" and "Faith Divides Us..." - if you liked those albums, you'll probably like this album. Those albums, and "Tragic Idol," are not death metal in any way. This album, like the recent others, is heavy music with a goth/doom feel to it...which is perfectly fine by me.

I dig this album...a lot.
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on August 9, 2012
I have followed Paradise Lost from their very beginning, when they moved forward from their Death Metal roots to more and more Gothic-influenced tracks until they eventually reached the height of their sound with albums like Icon and Drakonian Times. I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved those CDs. From there on, the band decided to turn into a completely different direction - One Second still being a great CD, on which Paradise Lost had not yet completely turned away from their original style - but from 1999 on, I could not identify with their increasingly pop-like sound anymore and lost track of their development for many years. Only in 2007 did I purchased an album again, In Requiem, which although not being the musically most interesting CD of the band, again featured harder songs, apparently an attempt to slowly return to their original roots. "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us", then, consequently followed that path, and Paradise Lost were once more a metal band. Also the quality of the songwriting notably approached what I was used to from the good old times.

However, I would have never bet that Paradise Lost would ever again release a CD that I would love as much as Draconian Times or Icon nor did I ever expect that they would really fully return one day to the musical style on these albums that made this band unique and famous in the nineties. And then they came out with Tragic Idol. I think I had tears of joy and pleasure in my eyes when I listened to it for the first time. This is the CD that I would have liked to come after Drakonian Times. It is not only the same style. It is the same high degree of quality, not only on an individual track here and there, but throughout the entire album. If you love the old material of Paradise Lost, this is a MUST BUY!

The only question now is where Paradise Lost is going to go from here. If they want to close the circle of development completely, we will receive a Death Metal album in 2-3 years. Lets see. I am definitely excited!
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on September 27, 2013
Paradise Lost have been on a wide variety of paths in the last 25 years from doom metal (Gothic), traditional metal (Draconian Times), electronica-rock (One Second), straight up electronica (Host) to rock (Believe In Nothing) and then back to metal again. However starting with their self titled album from 2005, the band has been trying to recreate the sounds of the past but each album failed for different reasons. The self titled album was very vanilla sounding, In Requiem had good ideas but sounded forced and FDUDUU seemed disjointed...heavy as hell but disjointed. Finally the band returns to their true sound with Tragic Idol. Apart from the opening track Solitary One which sounds like a leftover from FDUDUU, every track here is solid. Maybe going on tour for their Draconian Times shows paid off because the band nailed the late 90s sound while adding a few new elements such as the thrash classic "Theories From Another World". All the elements are there for their entire past. "Fear Of Impending Hell" has some nice use of acoustic guitar while still remaining heavy, the title track is comparable to "Say Just Words" in catchiness, "The Glorious End" is like a big brother to Draconian Times "Jaded", we even get some doom metal in one of the tracks. By far, this is the bands best CD at least since 2004's Symbol Of Life. Highly recommended!
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on March 8, 2015
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on June 3, 2013
Actually, its more a 4 1/2 stars. Listened to a few of P Ls cd's since Draconian Times(both draconian times and icon were materpeices) to be honest i was extremely let down. On a whim i decided to check out some of their newer ones so i started with Tragic Idol.AbsolueTs played retely loved it.Each song is extremely good and i really dont hear any filler tracks on this.This album keeps me interested and it gets played pretty much daily.Love it. Would definately recommend it to a fan.But; if your looking for something to dance to Tragic Idol isnt it.Maybe try One Second or Symbol of Life.
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on May 24, 2015
I've been following the band since the Icon-era and damn that's one helluva ride. Paradise Lost like to change their style with every release. That hasn't always been without creating controversy among their fans. Like most old timers I particularly like Gothic, Icon and of course Draconian Times. To be honest I think I have developed some kind of sacred bondage with the band, so I find interesting elements even in the most controversial records of the band. Unfortunately, I believe Paradise Lost have lost most of their inspiration and artistic nature in the post One Second era. Tragic Idol gladly is an exception to the rule. It's not that Paradise Lost tried to do something new here, but Greg's leads are so inspired that it's hard to pass by this album. I my book, the best material the band has written since Draconian Times.
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on May 30, 2012
I have to say, after Paradise Lost's last installment, "Faith Divides us... Death Unites Us", I was very much looking forward to this release. Being a longtime fan, it has been nice to see Paradise Lost get back to the formula of their early albums, namely Icon and Draconian Times. From the first track, upon first listen, it is abundantly clear that this album shares influences with both Icon and Draconian times. While Nick Holmes' vocals are a bit more refined than they were nearly 20 years ago, the guitar play of Greg Mackintosh, which is always great, is far more aggressive than the Draconian predecessor. In fact, most of the album is more aggressive than past offerings. The surprising bit of all this is that although I looked forward to this release for a LONG time, the first listen was as close as makes no difference, disappointing. However, it must be said that my first listen to "Faith Divides Us..." was much the same way, as was my first listen to "Shades of God" - Underwhelming. However, with each subsequent listen, each of those discs grew on me to the point where they rank among my favorite PL albums. The same holds true for "Tragic Idol". One of the biggest noticeable differences between this and other PL albums, and possibly what makes this album very unique, is the drumming. New drummer, Adrian Erlandsson adds a more aggressive approach to the percussive element than previous percussionists Lee Morris, Jeff Singer and Matt Archer, which creates a vastly different feel to the whole experience. Though the rest of the lineup has remained stable since the late 80's, the change in drummer has created vastly different feels for each PL era, if you will, and this is no exception. The bottom line: Hardcore and longtime PL fans will not be disappointed. PL creates a solid album with few low points to speak of and recaptures the feel of their great early 90's releases.
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