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Interview: Paradise Lost Guitarist Greg Mackintosh Discusses 'Tragic Idol'

Interview: Paradise Lost Guitarist Greg Mackintosh Discusses 'Tragic Idol'

You'll find no rose-tinted anthems of euphoric triumph on Paradise Lost's 13th studio album, Tragic Idol.

"There's a lot of cynicism, but then again we're kind of known for that," Greg Mackintosh says with a laugh, referring to the overarching sense of melancholy that pervades Tragic Idol — and indeed most of the band's back catalog.

As the band near the 25-year mark in their storied career, the stark change in music direction from their early days of doom-laden death metal to the synth-metal of Host to today's melodic brand of gothic metal tends to obscure the fact that they've been one of the most consistent acts in heavy music since the late Eighties.

Melodic can be a four-letter word to many metal fans, a death knell to the crowd that prefers dark and solipsistic to uplifting and — dare I say — euphoric. But the melodies that can be found on Tragic Idol are far more plaintive than soaring, and in places even downright sinister.

But that darkness belies an almost serene acceptance of life and death — "Calm as a Hindu cow," as Tyler Durden might say.

Perhaps vocalist Nick Holmes best frames the outlook of Paradise Lost on the track "Theories from Another World" when he sings, "In death in remorse, in this we celebrate."

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