Print this post Print this post

Paradise Lost’s
Medusa, The Plague Within, & Obsidian

Nick Holmes, singer/songwriter for Paradise Lost.

1,054 words

For many rock musicians, the quality of their output tends to go downhill for good after a certain point. It is not clear whether this is due to age, or whether there is a limit on how many good original ideas one person can produce, but in any case, Paradise Lost is an interesting exception to this trend. Singer and songwriter Nick Holmes was 46 years old when the band’s 15th album was released, and it is their best work yet.

Paradise Lost is one of the most prominent bands generally characterized as “gothic metal.” They are credited with creating the style in the north of England in the early 1990s along with other bands in the region. They are also associated with doom metal, a slow and gloomy style that often uses down-tuned guitars for a deeper sound, and Medusa is unambiguously in this style.

The dark sound of Paradise Lost may be particularly attractive to whites in the current year, as we have much to be pessimistic about. Our race is increasingly out of favor with the powers that be, and there are very few people in prominent positions with our interests at heart. However, this is not to say that listening to the band is a depressing experience. On the contrary, it is good for the spirit.

Heavy metal is sometimes described as “implicitly white,” and this is not only because the musicians and fans are overwhelmingly of the same race. Doom metal tends to be musically and lyrically dark, fitting more with the mind of gloomy and serious northern Europeans than the uninhibited sun people. The long and slow songs are more appealing to people with the lower time preference whites are known for. The harmonies sometimes give the impression of wide-open spaces, something more important to white Americans than to “urban youths” or some of the more close-packed nations further east.

Metal rhythms are distinct from blacker styles such as hip-hop and funk, perhaps even further from Hispanic beats such as salsa, and are often not danceable. The swarthier races are more attracted to party-oriented music, and it is difficult to imagine a jolly negro “getting down” to a song like “Medusa.”

An episode of South Park teaches us that when faced with a large crowd of hippies, the proper procedure is to introduce Slayer into the sound system. This forces them to voice their emotional distress and disperse. It has been said that classical music has a similar effect on blacks, and it would be interesting to see if heavy metal does as well.

Paradise Lost, including singer/songwriter Nick Holmes (center) and guitarist/songwriter Greg Mackintosh (second from left).

This style of music is notably different from the heavy metal popular in the 1980s. The focus of this album is not on one virtuoso, but harmony and composition. Although heavy metal is often seen as an individualistic protest against the herd, albums like this one do not give the same impression. Instead, there is a sense of a great order like that of nature, which is harsh and overwhelming to the individual, but beautiful as a whole.

Medusa begins with a piece called “Fearless Sky” that runs for eight and a half minutes, but as with the rest of the album, none of this seems excessive or repetitive. The song structure is more creative than the two-minute verse-verse-chorus template that popular music followed at one point, but still coherent. Holmes uses both melodic singing and the “growling” vocal style common in contemporary metal bands. The slow tempos serve to make the lyrics easier to make out and the harmonies easier to follow. There is a feeling of immense warmth and power coming from the lower range of the guitars and bass. The music seems intended to be profoundly moving rather than merely entertaining.

Medusa was preceded in 2015 by The Plague Within, a similar album in many ways. It is certainly worth listening to, having the same essential sound and affecting harmonies. Some songs incorporate instruments not standard for heavy metal, including strings on “Victim of the Past” and even horns on “Return to the Sun,” and this is done without sounding cheesy. There is a generally more aggressive sound, with some songs using the rushed-sounding rhythms found in hardcore punk and some styles of heavy metal, and one even using the shouted vocal style found in thrash metal such as “Tourniquet.” Most of the songs have less of a meditative quality than those on Medusa, and the latter is overall more impressive, but it is a close contest.

 Cover art for Paradise Lost’s 2020 album Obsidian.

Like The Plague Within, the band’s 2020 album Obsidian is musically and lyrically similar to Medusa, although the melodies are not as compelling. The album art is particularly interesting, though, and fits very well with the music. A symmetrical and ornate illustration looks like it could be carved into the cover of an antique wooden box, but is bordered by a damaged piece of paper. A flower sits at the center of the image but lacks the vitality one would normally associate with such a thing. Instead, it looks old and faded, like the three skulls below. The skulls wear strips of cloth on their foreheads as if an enterprising decorator meant to give them character like living people, but could not overcome their monstrous appearance. They are surrounded by four teeth, presumably taken from their jaws, along with four nails, presumably meant to seal them into coffins. 

The overall impression is of something very beautiful which is now very old and starting to decay. This sense of loss fits with much of the band’s music as well as their name. It should lead the listener not to despair, but to remember, and to take something back.

If you want to support Counter-Currents, please send us a donation by going to our Entropy page and selecting “send paid chat.” Entropy allows you to donate any amount from $3 and up. All comments will be read and discussed in the next episode of Counter-Currents Radio, which airs every weekend on DLive.

Don’t forget to sign up for the twice-monthly email Counter-Currents Newsletter for exclusive content, offers, and news.


  1. Bryan Neal
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Paradise Lost is the band that got me into metal over 20 years ago. Great to see a review of them here.

  2. Bigfoot
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    You should do more reviews from metal artists. I would like to see some reviews of Amon Amarth’s music.

    • TimothyS
      Posted January 22, 2021 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Metal has been a sometimes esoteric manifestation of white culture. As I grow into middle age, my appreciation has grown. It’s almost the polar opposite of boomer/summer of love escapism. Despite its science fiction aesthetics, the visceral concept of living fossils and war within our own nature, it’s not completely abstract and nihilistic. Perhaps it is even reactionary.
      MGLA’s “Age of Excuses”

  3. Inverted Idealism
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Huge PL fan; they’re the band that inspired many a raised axe. Katatonia’s favorite band and inspiration for their founding, and I’m sure many other greats. The last album I really dug into was Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us. These recent releases haven’t quite hooked me yet, but seeing them on CC makes me want to give these platters another chance, with your notes alongside, really dig into the lyrics and see if I can connect. FDUDUU is really a force of nature though, from the first time I heard it until today, and of course the classics Gothic, Shades of God, Icon and Draconian Times will stand forever as pinnacles of the mood.

  4. Posted January 24, 2021 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Being into metal for 20 years now and I agree with everything said in this article. Paradise Lost is one of the most articulate and profound bands around these days and for sure they speak to european mind.
    For those who can read italian, Luca Leonello Rimbotti wrote a book entitled “Rock duro antisistema. Heavy metal, tradizione e ribellione”, which is now 15 years old but still an almost unique effort to look into metal music from a “traditionalist” and national-revolutionary point of view. There are a lot of reference – big or small – to be found in this music genre.

  5. Scott
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    What do y’all think of The Dear Hunter and their Acts project?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.
Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. If approved, it will appear here soon. Do not post your comment a second time.
Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Our Titles

    White Identity Politics

    Here’s the Thing

    Trevor Lynch: Part Four of the Trilogy

    Graduate School with Heidegger

    It’s Okay to Be White


    The Enemy of Europe

    The World in Flames

    The White Nationalist Manifesto

    From Plato to Postmodernism

    The Gizmo

    Return of the Son of Trevor Lynch's CENSORED Guide to the Movies

    Toward a New Nationalism

    The Smut Book

    The Alternative Right

    My Nationalist Pony

    Dark Right: Batman Viewed From the Right

    The Philatelist

    Novel Folklore

    Confessions of an Anti-Feminist

    East and West

    Though We Be Dead, Yet Our Day Will Come

    White Like You

    The Homo and the Negro, Second Edition

    Numinous Machines

    Venus and Her Thugs


    North American New Right, vol. 2

    You Asked For It

    More Artists of the Right

    Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics


    The Importance of James Bond

    In Defense of Prejudice

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater (2nd ed.)

    The Hypocrisies of Heaven

    Waking Up from the American Dream

    Green Nazis in Space!

    Truth, Justice, and a Nice White Country

    Heidegger in Chicago

    The End of an Era

    Sexual Utopia in Power

    What is a Rune? & Other Essays

    Son of Trevor Lynch's White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    The Lightning & the Sun

    The Eldritch Evola

    Western Civilization Bites Back

    New Right vs. Old Right

    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles


    The Node

    The New Austerities

    Morning Crafts

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Gold in the Furnace