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You would think that after 10 studio albums, a band would be running low on quality. However, the lifeforce of gothic doom pioneers, PARADISE LOST, is as vital and strong as ever. Their 11th album, In Requiem, is truly a stellar album that sees the band returning to a Draconian Times-era sound coupled with aspects of their more contemporary sound. It’s readily apparent upon the first few listens that In Requiem is a winner as the songs and execution are flawless and flow so easily. There is no extra effort needed on the part of the listener to appreciate the album. Opener, “Never for the Damned,” sets the tone with its SABBATH-sized heavy riffs and vocalist Nick Holmes’ powerful vocals. During the course of the songs on In Requiem, there is always a catchy guitar riff and vocal line that comes in and makes it memorable and enjoyable. There’s a good balance of dynamics in the form of different vocal stylings in the PARADISE LOST vein, heavy/mellow sections, melodic parts, and various tempos. The band also do a nice job of adding in secondary parts such as keyboard parts and backing male/female vocals to compliment things. That famous PARADISE LOST emotional and soulful quality shines through on songs such as “Praise Lamented Shade” and “Your Own Reality.” In Requiem is the complete package. When the masters set out to make a great album, the results are undeniable. (Century Media Records)