Paradise Lost’s eighth full length album ‘Believe in Nothing’, which was originally released in the February of 2001. Is getting the remastered and remixed treatment by Jaime Gomez Arellano, as the band was never really satisfied with the overall production of the album.
“It’s no secret that we were never entirely happy with the production on this record, despite really liking the songs,” states singer Nick Holmes. “It’s been a long time coming, but we finally found the right moment to go back into the studio with Gomez and play around with it. We hope you all enjoy the remixed version so you can hear how the songs were meant to sound.”
The album cover has also been redesigned by Branca Studio; who have created a dark and moody new cover artwork. To bring it closer to the initial vision that the band once had for their gothic rock album.
‘Believe in Nothing’ has never been a classic Paradise Lost album for myself, it almost got lost in their back catalogue. Lyrically I loved it, dark, depressing (a little more than usual) and bittersweet. However the music didn’t grab me; I wasn’t expecting another ‘Host’ album with the electronics influences, or the heaviness of ‘Gothic’. But I wanted the heavy melodies, enchanting choruses to carry me away, as they had done before. So on hearing that the album was getting a remix and remaster definitely intrigued me.
As ‘I Am Nothing’ starts you can already hear a difference in the sound levels, as there is more depth between the instruments. Lyrically it is bleak, with Nick Holmes’ mournful voice sewing together soulfulness and despair. The guitars are back and heavier than they were on it’s predecessor ‘Host’, giving the sound more of a punch. The general mix of the song is different and better, the guitar solo even sounds more crisp. ‘Mouth’ continues with its powerful intro, as a tender bassline plays in harmony with the drums. The chorus “In my mind, In my mouth, In my soul, Only you provide these symptoms that I show” is still as catchy as it ever was.
A gentle guitar strums with voices harmonizing over top, while the drums and bass build up to release vocalist Nick’s beautiful voice. ‘Fader’ has a lot of the vibes from the album ‘Host’ in its string section, electronic distortion and angelic chorus, the dynamics of the song work beautifully together. ‘Look At Me Now’ continues the ‘Host’ vibe, but makes it heavier and more powerful. Returning to the more familiar Paradise Lost sound is ‘Illumination’, which has a similar chorus melody to ‘Mouth’. The song never really gets going for me and is lost in the album.
A crushing intro greets us into ‘Something Real’, with loud guitars and drums. It has an upbeat tempo and wistfully spirals into a chorus and guitar solo. ‘Divided’ has a graceful open and simple structure, but it is another track that gets lost on the album. ‘Sell It To The World’ is a slice of classic Paradise Lost, hard, heavy and soulful. It has fantastic mix of elements, from crashing guitars, synth keyboards and pounding drums. ‘Never Again’ has a rhythmic intro of guitar and keyboards which lasts far to long, and a feeling of anticipation of a big climax that never really comes to fruition.
The latter half of the album opens with ‘Control’ which has a catchy chorus and bleak lyrics, entwined with a full solid rhythm and melody. This solid sound continues with ‘No Reason’, however it leaves no great impression on me. The closing track ‘World Pretending’ is full of sorrow and disappear, which is how the album leaves me feeling. I enjoyed the first half of the album, but the middle got bogged down with unmemorable tracks and the end just left me unfulfilled.
Although ‘Believe In Nothing’ isn’t my favourite Paradise Lost album (by a long way), this remixed and remastered version does bring more to the mix. The sound is crisp, the layers of harmonies are more visible to the listener. The heavier mix of guitar, drums and bass, definitely makes it a better album over all. If you enjoyed the original mix of the album, I feel you’ll enjoy this more. If you were not a fan to start with, it might win you over in areas but not as a whole.