Gothic : (Not capitalized) Of or relating to a style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent incidents.
“Yup. Looks Gothic.”
There are half a dozen dictionary definitions for “Gothic” to choose from but of them all I think this is the best descriptor for this, Paradise Lost’s second release. Judging by the lyrical content and artwork, it seems the band intended for the term to refer to more than just the sound.
Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, Gothic should feel like a quick affair but due to the repetition of sounds and lyrical themes, it comes across much longer. Performance wise the instrumentation can be described as simple, almost amateurish. While those aren’t inherently negative things, the lack of imagination and drive leave much to be desired across these 9 tracks. The crude production doesn’t do the music any favors either.
I swear the camera was focused.
Heavy music that is rough around the edges often adds to the experience if it sounds organic. Something about the vinyl release of Gothic sounds mechanical, forced even. The craggy edges of the production don’t sound natural and the lack of variety in music make each song almost unidentifiable from another. It could be argued that this style of music aims to be this way intentionally but there still need to be hooks to captivate. There are very few here.
Gothic has been reissued a few different times. Rarely do I recommend the CD version over the wax but in this case, the 2008 version is the most optimal. For fans of their more recent outings, their first two records might be a bit jarring. They have altered their sound more often than a criminal changes identities. With varying degrees of success.
At the end of the day, Gothic is one of my favorite Paradise Lost albums. Yeah, I know that is an odd way to end this after what I’ve written. Maybe I’m just not a huge fan of the band’s music. So, why do I keep buying their albums?
Track List :