Drown in Darkness - The Early Demos
Essential for early fans
Paradise Lost fans certainly have been rewarded for their undying patience in recent times, with the highly influential U.K. gothic rock/metal act releasing a full-length album (2007’s ‘In Requiem’), a career spanning documentary of the band’s twenty year existence (2007’s ‘Over the Madness’) and a live C.D./D.V.D. package (2008’s ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’), all in the space of twelve months.
While things have been a little quiet on the Paradise Lost front in the last twelve months, the band have returned with something new in the lead up to the release of their next album (which is due to be released in mid/late 2009). And once again, it’s a release that will please old-school fans to no end.
As the title points out, ‘Drown in Darkness - The Early Demos’ is a superb re-release of the band’s first two demos, along with six live recordings that have until now never been officially released by the band.
Starting off this collection is the band’s three track ‘Paradise Lost’ demo recording from 1988. Although having been given a complete remaster, and offering some insight into the band’s humble early death/doom metal origins, the three tracks (‘Drown in Darkness’, ‘Internal Torment’ and ‘Morbid Existence’) really are quite raw sounding (especially ‘Morbid Existence’), and will only really appeal to those who are looking for the said tracks in C.D. format.
The three tracks lifted from the band’s second demo ‘Frozen Illusion’ (1989) is another matter altogether. ‘Paradise Lost’, ‘Frozen Illusion’ and the re-recorded ‘Internal Torment’ are superior in every way from the band’s first recordings (with more than a little help from the remastering process), and go some way to showing just how much the band had grown and progressed in a short five months in terms of both song writing and sound.
Finishing off the C.D. is a six track live recording from Liverpool in March 1989, which was previously only available as a live bootleg under the title of ‘Plains of Desolation’. Once again, the quality of the said tracks (comprising of ‘Internal Torment’, ‘Our Saviour’, ‘Plains of Desolation’, ‘Drown in Darkness’, ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Nuclear Abomination’) is a little hit and miss as they’re recorded live, but the remastering has improved the quality immensely (in other words, they actually sound listenable now!), and therefore has given the long forgotten early live performance a whole new lease of life.
Lavishly packaged in gatefold digipak format with the replica L.P. designed C.D., and some insightful liner notes from vocalist Nick Holmes, ‘Drown in Darkness - The Early Demos’ is another great offering from the legendary gothic rock founders, and an essential addition to fans of Paradise Lost’s earliest recorded efforts.
(Century Media Records/EMI Music Australia)