Gothic was Paradise Lost's second album, released in 1991. A significant improvement over the previous year's album Lost Paradise (there were actual tunes in this one), Gothic lived up to its name with an extremely dark sound which managed to convey decay and sorrow in a much more poetic, melodic way than their contemporaries, and which helped usher in a new genre of gothic metal. Helped by bands such as Anathema and My Dying Bride, the new sound inspired many rock and metal bands, and it evolved over the years to produce much of the darker side of rock we see now. The tracks on Gothic were:

  1. Gothic
  2. Dead Emotion
  3. Shattered
  4. Rapture
  5. Eternal
  6. Falling Forever
  7. Angel Tears
  8. Silent
  9. The Painless
  10. Desolate

Although a few of the quieter tracks on the album seem to exude a sense of sinking anguish, the majority which define the album's sound are a bitter storm of menacing darkness mingled with a sort of desperate hopelessness. The title track is a perfect example of this mood, with Holmes' gruff lead interspersed by melodic female vocals and typically gothic (no!), almost melodramatic lyrics.

Waiting for the call
For all life to expire
Passive to this day
To infinity we'll fall

Another way of looking at the album is as a wall of white noise overlaid with someone shouting a lot, but although I slowly grew out of this genre of music (no I don't like it anymore), the album still has a special place in my heart. It was exactly the sort of dark aggression I needed to react against the growing trend of boy bands at the time I got into it (around 1998, year of the Backstreet Boys vs. *NSync or however you spell it), and some of the lyrics still appeal to my secret inner goth.

The light is dim before us
Shadows appear and fall
A barrage of savage ways
Only the darkness can filter through