Paradise Lost - Tragic Illusion 25: The Rarities

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English doom metal veterans Paradise Lost turn 25 in 2013, and they're celebrating that milestone with both a special anniversary tour, and a collection of rare and unreleased material that most fans will not have heard before. They already have one or two releases which plunder old demos, so how much worthwhile, good quality material can they really have left? It turns out, rather a lot for anyone who hasn't bought the special editions of their last few albums, which are now out of print. As a result, this collection genuinely plays like a new studio album, even though it brings together left over tracks from different previous releases. Both studio bonuses from their last album Tragic Idol are here, plus all four from Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (including the two "Lost In Prague" orchestral versions of album tracks which really stake a good case for the whole album being released as an orchestral version - they're that good), and all four from In Requiem, making up a total of ten tracks on a disc containing just 14. These songs will have differing levels of familiarity for different fans, but of those ten the two most likely to be of interest are the excellent, ultra-heavy Sons of Perdition, which was only available on the Japanese version of In Requiem, and Back On Disaster, from the Japanese Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us. So most of this has been released before, but is now no longer available. That leaves four tracks that should be new to almost everyone. Two are re-recordings of old tracks, Our Saviour and Gothic. This was something the band did for fun in the studio, and are here as extras. The Last Fallen Saviour is a left-over song from the Tragic Idol recording sessions, which until now was only available on the subscribers-only cover-mount flexi disc with Decibel Magazine in North America. It was left off because it's different to the rest of the album in that it's quite fast, but it's still classic Paradise Lost and fans should enjoy it. The other unreleased song is Loneliness Remains, which is a brand new slow, traditional doom recording which perfectly links both ends of Paradise Lost's career into a single song. The majority of fans will basically be getting a new studio album with this release, so it's a thoroughly worthwhile purchase. Those collectors who bought all the special editions of the last three albums will need to weigh up whether this is worth the money for two new songs, two Japanese bonus tracks, and two re-recordings. All of them are good, so it probably is.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Compilation Albums, Doom Metal, Quick.Play Reviews,

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