British gothic metal pioneers PARADISE LOST will release their 14th studio album, "The Plague Within", on June 2 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media. The CD was recorded at Orgone Studios (GHOST, ULVER, CATHEDRAL, ANGEL WITCH) in London with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano.
The cover for "The Plague Within" was created by Polish artist, illustrator and architect Zbigniew M. Bielak, best known in the musical realm for his record cover illustrations, which, among others, include meticulously handcrafted artworks of WATAIN, GHOST and ENTOMBED A.D. albums.
Zbigniew comments: "Since their late '80s inception, through somber abrasiveness of their debut and harrowing tristesse of groundbreaking 'Gothic', the unparalleled icons of gloom, PARADISE LOST grew deep into all things murky and dreadful in modern music. Let alone Duncan Fergado's artwork for their 'Lost Paradise' debut remains one of my fave covers, so having heard that with 'Plague Within' the band harks back to days of old, was — to say the least — a thrilling incentive to pick up the commission. It was also a rare joy to see how preliminarily calm and reflective Arcimboldian artwork, kept becoming ever darker and more sinister past each of Nick's and Greg's scrutinies, to finally become what one can see on the actual cover. A portrait of hopeless decrepitude of mental illness — which is what 'Plague Within' deals with thematically — where the tormented Sisyphus struggles to push his burden back up the slippery walls of a long-frozen illusion."
Regarding the musical direction of "The Plague Within", PARADISE LOST singer Nick Holmes said: "We wanted to approach the new album differently this time, by embracing the band's VERY early days with the last few years.
"We have written a very dark-yet-melodic album, but this time many songs definitely have a death metal edge, which is something we haven't done for a long, long time in PARADISE LOST."
PARADISE LOST performed with an orchestra on September 20 at the Roman theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. For the one-off concert, the band was joined by the renowned Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra founded nearly 70 years ago and made up of over 100 highly qualified musicians. The orchestra has its roots in the hundred-year-old orchestral tradition in Plovdiv and over the years has launched the careers of many world-famous conductors.
The prestigious evening was promoted by the Bulgarian independent radio station Tangra Mega Rock and orchestrated by conductor Levon Manukyan who wrote the first metal ballet and is the founder of the Levon Manukyan Collegium Musicum orchestra. During his career, Levon has given the classical treatment to rock and metal works by MARILYN MANSON, ALICE COOPER, DREAM THEATER, AC/DC, EVANESCENCE, GUNS N' ROSES, KISS, LED ZEPPELIN, NIRVANA and JUDAS PRIEST, and worked with world-famous soloists including ex-NIGHTWISH vocalist Tarja Turunen.
PARADISE LOST's last release, "Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)" , came out in October 2013 in Europe (digitally in North America) and features artwork by Parisian designer Valnoir, who has worked with artists such as ORPHANED LAND, MORBID ANGEL, WATAIN, and more than 150 others. All tracks found on the compilation are previously released rarities — except the new track "Loneliness Remains", and newly recorded "Gothic 2013" and "Our Saviour 2013".