Thursday 24 October 2013

Paradise Lost - Tragic Illusion 25, (The Rarities)

 Tragic Illusion

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 21/10/2013
Label : Century Media

Tragic Illusion 25, (The Rarities), album track listing :

1. Loneliness Remains
2. Never Take Me Alive (SPEAR OF DESTINY cover version)
3. Ending Through Changes
4. The Last Fallen Saviour
5. Last Regret (Lost in Prague Orchestra Mix)
6. Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (Lost in Prague Orchestra Mix)
7. Cardinal Zero
8. Back On Disaster
9. Sons Of Perdition
10. Godless
11. Missing (EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL cover version)
12. Silent In Heart
13. Gothic 2013
14. Our Saviour 2013
Bio :

From the harrowing doom of their 1990 debut Lost Paradise, to 1991's genre-defining Gothic, to 1995's break-out masterpiece Draconian Times, to 1997's electronically-tinged One Second, to 2007's return to a heavier form In Requiem, to last year's opus Tragic Idol, PARADISE LOST has continued to evolve since their inception in 1988, inspiring countless artists throughout the years. To celebrate their influence on the scene, a special compilation will be released this fall to commemorate the band's 25th anniversary landmark.

Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities), this album will be released on October 21st in Europe (digitally on October 29th in North America) and features artwork by Parisian designer Valnoir (, who has worked with artists such as ORPHANED LAND, MORBID ANGEL, WATAIN, and more than 150 others. All tracks found on the compilation are previously released rarities-- except the new track "Loneliness Remains," and newly recorded "Gothic 2013" and "Our Saviour 2013."
The Band :

Nick Holmes | Vocals
Greg Mackintosh | Lead Guitar
Aaron Aedy | Rhythm Guitar
Steve Edmondson | Bass
Adrian Erlandsson | Drums

Review : 
Paradise Lost have been around for twenty five years now- incredible. They have enjoyed considerable success in Europe; particularly Germany, as I recall, when they briefly were outselling Metallica. Indeed, there was a time, perhaps around 1995 or so when they were tipped to become THE metal band of the era. Icon was pretty immense, Draconian Times even better (IMO) and they seemed set to bother arenas and expensive car dealerships in their near future. Well, things don't always work out the way they are predicted to. Left turn followed left turn, no one was interested in metal anymore (or so we were told at the time) and Paradise Lost made some very brave/odd albums depending on your point of view. Host may have baffled/alienated many of us, but the band has got seriously back on track since around 2005 as they have returned to a much more familiar sound. This record covers their latter day purple patch. Tragic Idol fully restored my faith last year (superb album!), so aside from a rather handy anniversary to celebrate there are many reasons to delve into this oddities/bonus material collection.

The first track is the only “new” material here. “Loneliness Remains” is a dirge like stomper with Type O esque vocals and a very moody vibe, “The Last Fallen Saviour” is an off cut from the aforementioned “Tragic Idol” opus and comes with the excellent production as expected. There are a couple of orchestral mixes (presumably with the Prague Philharmonic) that are interesting takes on “Faith Divides us...” era material before the very metal “Cardinal Zero” brings an excellent groove.

Back On Disaster” is rather different as it is gloomy and melancholy but not necessarily heavy per se; it has a pop sensibility to it- song writing is about more than just riffs. “Sons Of perdition” is almost traditional hard rock, albeit with trademark Mackintosh and Aedy guitar work. “Godless” is not a cover from Danzig III but is instead a rather moody instrumental piece- complete with electronica- that is really rather cool.

Missing” is rather ironically the album's only misstep: yes, it is an Everything But The Girl cover. Oddity covers can be interesting but, frankly, this just is not for me. Enough said. Things get back on track with “Silent Heart” as it is much more straight forward chugging fair with, once again, a rather Pete Steele-esque melody to the verse vocals.

For many fans, the final two tracks will be very interesting being as they are “Gothic” and “Our Saviour” from prime era Paradise Lost re-recorded for 2013. The sound is crystal clear, the performances stellar and the approach reverential. In short, they work well and are very welcome to round out this worthwhile collection of curios.

Is the collection essential? That depends on your point of view. If you are a big fan: absolutely! If you are a casual fan or looking for an introduction to the band, essential is not the right word, perhaps, but the collection does show the depth and breadth of Paradise Lost's approach and output. It really made me want to dig out the albums I already have and go and purchase some of the ones I am missing too- where to start?!

Many have criticised the band for straying from the rigid metal blueprint over the years, but the best bands tend to develop/change over time (even Motorhead do NOT sound the same on every album- that criticism does them a disservice). Paradise Lost could, no doubt, have re-made “Draconian Times” many times over, each time watering it down or commercialising their sound and going after mainstream success. That they didn't is testimony to them as musicians. Whether you are a fan of all their catalogue or not they have always taken risks and, more importantly, tried to do whatever they wanted to do artistically. In that regard, Paradise Lost have as much integrity as anyone (or more, as they have not just churned out facsimiles of their best output again and again- Slayer?) and if artistic freedom interests you, why not pick this record up? You will hear some of what you have been missing- go and get “Tragic Idol” after that and you will start to appreciate just how fine a band this is and how important they are to the metal world. Sons of Northern Darkness, indeed.

Words by : Richard Maw

You can buy it here

For more information : 

PARADISE LOST "Tragic Illusion 25th Anniversary" UK Tour w/ LACUNA COIL and KATATONIA

Oct. 30th - Wolverhampton - Wulfrun Hall (
Oct. 31st - Glasgow - ABC (
Nov. 1st - Manchester - Ritz (
Nov. 3rd - London - Roundhouse (

PARADISE LOST "Tragic Illusion 25th Anniversary" EU Tour w/ LACUNA COIL and KATATONIA

Nov. 4th - Cologne, Germany - Essigfabrik
Nov. 6th - Herford, Germany - Club X
Nov. 7th - Aschaffenburg, Germany - Colos Saal
Nov. 8th - Dordrecht, Netherlands - Bibelot
Nov. 10th - Utrecht, Netherlands - Tivoli Oudegracht
Nov. 11th - Nuremberg, Germany - Hirsch
Nov. 12th - Vienna, Austria - Arena
Nov. 13th - Solothurn, Switzerland - Kofmehl