Paradise Lost (formed in 1988 in Halifax, UK) began as one of the premier bands of the death doom metal genre (along with their former Peaceville labelmates Anathema and My Dying Bride) and pioneered the sound of early gothic metal. In the late 1990s they evolved to a more mainstream synth rock style, only to come full-circle back to their doom metal and gothic metal roots on recent releases.
Ironically, the band is almost unknown in their home country, whereas in mainland Europe they have been extremely popular for many years, especially in Greece, Germany and Bulgaria, where they are regarded as mainstream rock stars. Although they are best known for pioneering gothic metal, throughout their career the band have also confounded fans and critics alike with their perpetual taste for reinvention and experimentation, a desire to work with producers from other musical genres, and an oft-stated refusal to repeat themselves for fear of stagnation.
For instance, vocalist Nick Holmes used a muddy sounding grunt-style of singing in the band’s early duration - “Lost Paradise” (1990) and “Gothic” (1991); upon the release of “Shades Of God” (1992), “Icon” (1993) and “Draconian Times” (1995), he refined his voice to a cleaner tone almost akin to James Hetfield of Metallica; and on “One Second” (1997), which was distributed by hip hop label Jive Records, the band experimented with Depeche Mode-styled synthpop and electronica, a style they would develop even further on “Host” (1999).