These metal veterans are among the godfathers of the whole doom/death movement, together with Anathema and My Dying Bride. After a successful run of classics, such as Icon (1993) and Draconian Times (1995), the band went on experimenting with mixed results on Host (1999) and Believe In Nothing (2001). Paradise Lost got a lot of flack for it, so the band revisited their old style with the S/T album (2005) and In Requiem (2007). Both albums were met with general acclaim. The band’s latest album dates from last year, appropriately titled Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us.
The title certainly reflects the bleak and stark character of this album. The material is a bit heavier compared to In Requiem, but otherwise there aren’t really significant differences. Due to the tasteful use of time changes, weird breaks and other nifty tricks this album has a small, yet delightful technical/progressive edge.
Guitarist Greg MacIntosh proves himself again as a very skilled songwriter, producing such memorable tunes as As Horizons End, I Remain, The Rise Of Denial, Universal Dream and In Truth. Impressive choruses, catchy hooks and everything else you could possibly wish for. Singer Nick Holmes even uses his rough vocal style more often, giving this album a distinct Draconian Times feel.
The production by Jens Bogren is a bit too compressed for my taste, but it does reinforce the overall heavy feel of this record. A classic matter of personal preferences I suppose.
Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us successfully merges the old fire from the Draconian Times era with the songwriting prowess of current day Paradise Lost. Another great effort by these veteran doomsters.
written by Raymond Westland