Paradise Lost (band)

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Paradise Lost
Metalmania 2007 - Paradise Lost 01.jpg
Paradise Lost live in 2007 with former drummer Jeff Singer.
Background information
Origin Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
Years active1988–present
Labels Century Media, Music for Nations, Koch, GUN, Peaceville, EMI Electrola, Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Vallenfyre, Bloodbath, The Haunted, At the Gates, Cradle of Filth, Blaze, Kill II This
Members Nick Holmes
Gregor Mackintosh
Aaron Aedy
Steve Edmondson
Waltteri Väyrynen
Past membersMatthew Archer
Lee Morris
Jeff Singer
Adrian Erlandsson

Paradise Lost are a gothic metal band that formed in 1988 in Halifax, England and are considered by some to be the pioneers of the death-doom genre, [5] and regarded as the main influence for the later gothic metal movement. [6] Bands that have cited Paradise Lost as an influence, or have covered them, include My Dying Bride, [7] Anathema, [7] The Gathering, [7] Amorphis, [8] Cradle of Filth, [9] Katatonia, [10] Moonspell, [11] Lacuna Coil, [12] HIM, [12] Nightwish [12] and many others. As of 2005, Paradise Lost have sold over two million albums worldwide. [13]

Gothic metal is a fusion genre combining the heaviness of heavy metal with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. The genre originated during the early 1990s in the United Kingdom originally as an outgrowth of death-doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.

Halifax, West Yorkshire Minster town in West Yorkshire, England

Halifax is a minster town in the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town has been a centre of woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, originally dealing through the Piece Hall. Halifax is known for Mackintosh's chocolate and toffee products including Rolo and Quality Street. The Halifax Bank was also founded and is still headquartered in Halifax. Dean Clough, one of the largest textile factories in the world at more than 12 mile (800 m) long, was in the north of the town. The premises have since been converted for office and retail use including a gym, theatre, Travelodge and radio station.

Death-doom is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It combines the slow tempos and pessimistic or depressive mood of doom metal with the deep growling vocals and double kick drumming of death metal. The genre emerged in the late-1980s and gained a certain amount of popularity during the 1990s, but had become less common by the turn of the 21st century. In turn, death-doom gave rise to the closely related genre of funeral doom as well as to the more melodic, gloomy and romantic gothic metal.


Their line-up has remained stable for such a long-standing heavy metal band, consisting of singer Nick Holmes, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, and bassist Steve Edmondson. Holmes and Mackintosh are the principal composers, with almost all of the band's songs credited to them. During the years, the band has only changed drummers.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.


Early demos and the Peaceville period (1988–1991)

After their formation in 1988, Paradise Lost released three cassette demos, Paradise Lost, Frozen Illusion, and Plains of Desolation, before being signed to Peaceville Records in 1989. They recorded their debut album, Lost Paradise, at Academy Music Studio in December of that year. The album was released in February 1990. [14]

Peaceville Records is a British independent heavy metal record label. The label was founded by Paul "Hammy" Halmshaw in Dewsbury, England in 1987, who was also a one-time drummer of Sore Throat. Originally a tape label releasing anarcho punk, the releases moved towards metal through crust punk and similar forms of metal-influenced English hardcore punk. Halmshaw started running the label full-time in 1988, although the original tape label incarnation was founded in 1981 as a vehicle for releasing Instigators demo cassettes.

<i>Lost Paradise</i> (album) 1990 studio album by Paradise Lost

Lost Paradise is the debut album of the heavy metal band Paradise Lost. Released in February 1990 by Peaceville Records, it features their early death/doom style. The album was re-issued in 2003 and included three bonus tracks.

Academy Music Studio is a professional recording studio located in Dewsbury, England which utilizes the latest digital recording technology and also traditional analogue equipment if required. It was opened in 1984 by its owner Keith Appleton, who was at the time a professional keyboard player, specializing in the Hammond organ.

In November 1990, Paradise Lost returned to Academy Music Studio to record their second album, Gothic , which was released in March 1991. The band began to move away from the death/doom sound of their previous releases by adding keyboards and female vocal accompaniments. [15]

<i>Gothic</i> (Paradise Lost album) 1991 studio album by Paradise Lost

Gothic is the second full-length album released by British heavy metal band Paradise Lost.

The Music for Nations period (1991–1999)

Paradise Lost performing live, 1991. Paradiselost91.JPG
Paradise Lost performing live, 1991.

Paradise Lost left Peaceville and were signed to the Music for Nations label and released Shades of God in July 1992. [14] The band's musical approach continued to evolve with this album as evidenced by the addition of quieter passages in the song's compositions, the softening of vocalist Nick Holmes's death grunt, and Gregor Mackintosh's incorporation of acoustic guitar to his sound. [16] The album contained the song "As I Die", later released as a single/EP.

Music for Nations is a British independent record label focusing mainly on rock and metal. It was a subsidiary of the larger label distributor Zomba Records, which was a division of BMG and later Sony Music Entertainment.

<i>Shades of God</i> 1992 studio album by Paradise Lost

Shades of God is the third album by Paradise Lost. It features the use of growling noticeable in the band's previous efforts although shows the beginning of the transition to more 'clean' vocals seen on the album Icon.

Nick Holmes (singer) British singer

Nicholas John Arthur Holmes is a musician from Halifax, West Yorkshire, best known as the lead vocalist of British gothic metal/doom metal band Paradise Lost and Swedish death metal band Bloodbath.

In summer 1993, the band recorded their fourth album, Icon, released in September of the same year. The band continued to develop their sound away from their doom roots and more towards the dynamics and sound of "As I Die" from their previous album. On Icon, Nick Holmes abandoned his death grunt and starting using a "James Hetfield-style bark." [17] It was after this album, in December 1994, that original member Matthew Archer quit and was replaced by drummer Lee Morris.

<i>Icon</i> (Paradise Lost album) 1993 studio album by Paradise Lost

Icon is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal band Paradise Lost in 1993. It marked a departure from the death-doom sound of their early work, and was the last album to feature Matthew Archer on drums.

James Hetfield American musician

James Alan Hetfield is an American musician and songwriter best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica. Hetfield is mainly known for his intricate rhythm playing, but occasionally performs lead guitar duties and solos, both live and in the studio. Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering an advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler. Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards and released ten studio albums, three live albums, four extended plays and 24 singles.

Lee Morris (musician) English drummer

Lee Morris is a British drummer. Morris came from a musical family and started playing the drums at six years of age. He learnt his instrument from his dad and spent many hours during his early years playing along with various records from the family record collection. At age 12, he joined his first High School covers band, playing the top 40 songs at the time, but the band never played outside the school walls. At the age of 14, Morris discovered a love of rock music after hearing the Iron Maiden Killers and Kiss Alive! albums.

The band entered the studio in January 1995 to record their fifth and most successful album, Draconian Times , which was released in June 1995. Mackintosh says about Draconian Times, "that it's the album by which everything else we do gets judged. Rightly so, as it’s the backbone of our career and sound." [18] The album charted in the Top 20 album chart in a number of countries including the UK and Germany.

Following the success of Draconian Times, and after four years of continuous touring, the band began to get bored with their signature sound and started to experiment with Depeche Mode-esque synth-pop and electronica. [19] This new direction shaped their next album One Second, released in 1997, and was most epitomised by the lead single, Say Just Words. The album was one of the band's most successful releases, particularly in Northern Europe, cracking the German, Swedish, and Finnish top ten charts. [20] [21] [22]

The EMI period (1999–2001)

The band moved to EMI Electrola in Germany for its next album, Host , released in 1999, on which they continued to experiment with new sounds, appearing to shed their metal roots. [23] While this album continued to alienate their traditional fanbase in places like the UK, it was their highest charting album in Germany, entering at number 4 on the Album Chart.

On the next album, 2001's Believe in Nothing , Paradise Lost continued this synth direction, but adding rock elements to the music, forcibly by EMI at the time. Due to the loss of creativity control, Mackintosh said that the album "doesn't really exist for him." [24]

The GUN Records period (2001–2005)

In May 2002, the band signed to GUN Records, and on the album that followed, Symbol of Life, the metallic roots of the band began to resurface. [25] The album included guest musicians Devin Townsend, Jamie Muhoberac, and Lee Dorrian. [26]

In March 2004, Lee Morris left the band and was replaced by Jeff Singer.

Paradise Lost released their tenth, eponymous album in 2005, also on GUN Records.

The Century Media period (2005–2016)

Paradise Lost at Kavarna Rock Fest in Bulgaria in 2011 Paradise Lost - Kavarna Rock Fest 2011 - 2.jpg
Paradise Lost at Kavarna Rock Fest in Bulgaria in 2011

The eleventh album, In Requiem, was released in the spring of 2007 on Century Media; [27] it was generally well-accepted and highly rated by both critics and fans, pleased to see the band returning to their heavier, gothic metal sound similar to that of earlier albums like Draconian Times. [28] The full-length was preceded by a single, "The Enemy" and on the single, Singer was finally listed as a permanent band member. In a recent video interview, Mackintosh and Holmes revealed that Singer had already auditioned for the band when Archer left, but they chose Morris instead because Singer "had a pink drumkit." [29]

In November 2007, Century Media released the DVD Over The Madness, which documents the impact Paradise Lost has had on gothic metal and provides insight into the mindset and workings of Paradise Lost. Disc 2 includes further interviews, rehearsal footage, plus backstage and memorabilia sections. [30]

On 13 August 2008, drummer Jeff Singer announced his departure from the band on the Paradise Lost official website. He wanted to be with his family, had an upcoming job, and the then-upcoming South American tour would interfere with that. As a result, Paradise Lost had to cancel the South American tour dates that they had planned. [31] Soon after, on 28 August 2008, the Paradise Lost official website announced that the cancelled South American tour has been reconfirmed [32] and that Mark Heron from Oceansize would take over on drums.

Nick Holmes at Metalmania 2007 festival in Katowice, Poland. Metalmania 2007 - Paradise Lost - Nick Holmes 02.jpg
Nick Holmes at Metalmania 2007 festival in Katowice, Poland.

At the beginning of 2009, Paradise Lost recorded an album with producer Jens Bogren in Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. At the time there was no full-time replacement for Jeff Singer and drums were played by Swedish drummer Peter Damin. [33] On 16 March 2009, when recording for the album was already finished, the band recruited Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates, ex-Cradle of Filth) as a full-time drummer for the band. [34]

On 18 June 2009, Paradise Lost officially announced Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us as the title of their album to be released on Century Media Records on 25 September 2009 in Germany, on 28 September 2009 in the rest of Europe and on 6 October 2009 in the US. [35]

Paradise Lost headlined the Jägermeister Stage at Ozzfest 2010 on 18 September 2010. [36]

In late 2011, Paradise Lost began recording its 13th studio album Tragic Idol in The Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. The album was released on 23 April 2012. [37] [ needs update ]. Adrian Erlandsson was unable to play a few live shows for this album so the band got Jeff Singer again to fill in.

Paradise Lost performed some of their songs at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards with Cristina Scabbia on Paradise Lost's song Say Just Words and with Gus G. of a Black Sabbath cover, Into the Void .

Paradise Lost performing in Saint Petersburg in 2013 Paradise Lost in Saint Petersburg 2013-8.jpg
Paradise Lost performing in Saint Petersburg in 2013

On 15 August 2013, the cover and artwork were released for their compilation album of b-sides titled Tragic Illusion 25 . In September–October 2014, some of the songs from the album were released, such as a new song entitled Loneliness Remains, and older songs that were remade such as Our Savior 2013 from Lost Paradise and the self-titled song Gothic 2013 from Gothic . The album was released on 5 November 2013. [38]

On 27 October 2013, it was announced that the writing for the 14th studio album will begin after their 25th anniversary tour and the recording to the album will start in June 2014. [39] On 29 December 2014, it was revealed that The Plague Within would be the title for upcoming album. [40] On 26 January 2015, the release date for 2 June 2015 was announced, along with the producer, Jaimie Gomez Arellano and the recording location of Orgone Studios, London. [41] Speaking to Rock Sins, Nick Holmes stated that the new album would have elements of all previous Paradise Lost material including a return to the death/doom of their early output, stating that "there’s some songs that could’ve been written in 1989, a couple of really old school doom/death songs which are gonna surprise a couple of people when they hear it." [42] The Plague Within is considered by many traditional fans to be their best and most complete album in many years, as well as being a true return to their signature sound. [43]

Nuclear Blast period (2016–present)

On 1 September 2017, Paradise Lost released their 15th studio album, Medusa. The band continued their return to a much heavier, more doomier sound. Singer Nick Holmes said "...definitely our heaviest album; the heaviest we’ve done." Medusa was well received by fans and critics alike. [44]


Current official members

Former members



  • Milton Evans - session lead guitar (1999), keyboards, backing vocals (2011)


Paradise Lost (band)


Studio albums

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