There’s a considerable amount of bands that have changed their sound from their beginnings and explored other styles that may or may not have worked. UK’s doom masters Paradise List experienced the same transition when they morphed their sound from their pioneering death/doom style in their early work to the mellow, gothic style in their later years. The change didn’t happen suddenly and was hinted on their third record Shades of God and we’re celebrating 24 years of its release.
The album was recorded in April of 1992 and was produced by Simon Efemy, an engineer who started his career with Paradise Lost and worked with them for the next 20 years, with the band stating that “He has become the sixth member, and has grown with the band.” The producer choice may have been a factor for the band to venture into a different style which started with Shades of God by adding softer guitar passages and clean melodies which took full shape in their next album Icon.
Guitarist Greg Mackintosh decided to step away from the classic guttural death doom to incorporate a more complex composition with a guitar-work that many, including Mackintosh himself, reassemble to Black Sabbath and even Keyboard atmosphere, with the latter idea scrapped out of the mix last minute. Even Nick Holmes’ vocals started seeing a change in this record by taking a step back and giving more room the instrumentation by keeping a more agonizing growling style which later turned into clean singing in future records.
While the album may not be cited as such an important record like Icon or the previous work Gothic, Shades of God was a perfect bridging record that pushed the band to the next level, giving them an enormous commercial success in their career. Regardless of that, many fans still consider this as one of their favorite albums and followers of their older style believe it to be the best last album the band released.
Take a listen to the album and let us know what you think about it.