From the harrowing doom of their 1990 debut, "Lost Paradise", to 1991's genre-defining "Gothic", to 1995's break-out masterpiece "Draconian Times", to 1997's electronically tinged "One Second", to 2007's return to a heavier form "In Requiem", to last year's opus "Tragic Idol", British gothic metal pioneers PARADISE LOST have continued to evolve since their inception in 1988, inspiring countless artists throughout the years. To celebrate their influence on the scene, a special compilation will be released this fall to commemorate the band's 25th-anniversary landmark.
Entitled "Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)" , this album will be released on October 21 in Europe (digitally on October 29 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".
"Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)" track listing:
01. Loneliness Remains
02. Never Take Me Alive (SPEAR OF DESTINY cover version)
03. Ending Through Changes
04. The Last Fallen Saviour
05. Last Regret (Lost in Prague Orchestra Mix)
06. Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us (Lost in Prague Orchestra Mix)
07. Cardinal Zero
08. Back On Disaster
09. Sons Of Perdition
11. Missing (EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL cover version)
12. Silent In Heart
13. Gothic 2013
14. Our Saviour 2013
PARADISE LOST's Aaron Aedy (guitar) comments: “The years surrounding our formation in the 20th century would have earmarked this as a B-sides collection. These were the songs that were left over from an album recording session you couldn't fit on to the sound quality restrictive, optimal length of both sides of a vinyl LP. You then usually used these for the flip side of your single as a nice extra for fans and also perhaps, as an incentive for the collectors to purchase to help any important charting or sales which could facilitate radio airplay, the best and most important way for your band to heard at that time.
"Yes, my friends, it's hard to imagine now, there was a time before the Internet! A time when, even during the recording and writing of songs for our 'Lost Paradise' album, tape-trading demos and live tracks on the underground scene via mail (the real physical post kind!) were essential to a band's chance of being known by the people who would 'get it.' The magazines Metal Hammer, Metal Forces and Kerrang! also had a couple of champions of the underground scene too, helping bands like ourselves be known on a wider scale, but rarer still indeed back then were the audio and visual outlets. In the U.K., we had the legendary 'Friday Rock Show With Tommy Vance', who introduced myself and many others to a lot of the bands they went on to love for life. Later, TV shows 'The Powerhour', 'Raw Power' and, of course, 'Headbangers Ball' on MTV. All, of course, pre-empted that Smörgåsbord of information, the Internet, for the discerning and hungry-for-more rock music fans to feast upon.
"Twenty five years has seen a lot of change, not just musically for the band — take 'Our Saviour' and 'Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us', for instance. The Internet has broadened the choice of music we can readily hear enormously, and more importantly, hear and see for ourselves to form our own opinion — not just what the larger commercial companies and stations want us to hear!
"Added to our extra tracks from the past, we've included the recent re-recordings of 'Gothic' and 'Our Saviour'. This is something as a musician you find a strange experience.
"We as a band have always been an album rather a single band, and re-recording old songs is most often best left alone — but when we rehearsed 'Our Saviour', a song long lost from our live sets for a good twenty years, we found it pretty exciting and fun! We decided before hitting the studio that we would not record it as a perfect 21st-century studio version, as I don't feel this song would benefit from it (in fact more so, lose its original charm), but we decided to just do it quick and almost demo speed. Whilst recording to capture the most raw element, we drafted in our old friend and producer Simon Efemey, who worked on our 'Shades Of God', 'Icon' and 'Draconian Times' recordings to capture this, which whilst working to make it sound raw, made it fun too! Don't think of the re-recordings as replacements for our originals, but just as five blokes having fun and re-visiting the past in the studio.
"I hope this collection helps some of the people who like our music have a more completed playlist of our most recent album sessions' songs. I personally am very pleased that 'The Last Fallen Saviour' is here, as I would love to have had that on the 'Tragic Idol' album. Also 'Cardinal Zero', which only just didn't make the cut for 'Faith Divides Us…' due to it having a very different vibe to the other album tracks. Both nonetheless, I feel are very strong songs and show a slightly different side to those writing periods.
"CD and downloads not having a 'flip side' or 'side B' had almost made that term redundant, but for a resurgent vinyl hardcore that has thankfully kept that one alive, I'm pleased to say. I often reminisce those teen years of travelling home excited on the bus with a new LP, reading all the lyrics, enjoying the large enough cover to make artwork intricately delightful and worthwhile. Great heart-warming memories for me, indeed. Yet the music new and old I'm discovering on the Internet these days in the 21st century is an absolute joy! I'm pleased to have had both experiences during my years with PARADISE LOST and the future holds who knows what. I for one am very excited though to see where we go next!
"Here's wishing everyone all the best from PARADISE LOST and most importantly, thank you very much from us all for your amazing support, which humbles us greatly. Twenty five years and counting!"
PARADISE LOST has also confirmed that its 25th-anniversary "Tragic Illusion" tour has been extended to now include a number of European dates. As with the U.K. shows, the band will be supported by both LACUNA COIL and KATATONIA (who will be playing the entire "Viva Emptiness" album at all shows).