The name Paradise Lost features prominently in the bio that came with this Greek band's debut CD – the album is co-produced by Rhys Fulber, who has worked with the legendary UK band since their return to a heavier sound in the mid-2000's, was mastered by Greg Reely who has also worked with that band, and they supported PL on their recent Draconian Times tour in Greece. It therefore wasn't too much of a surprise when I put this disc in the player and it sounded quite a lot like… Paradise Lost! The first few tracks, with their blending of low-key electronica and crunching riffs, could almost be outtakes from PL's 1997 release One Second, if it wasn't for the slightly accented vocals. These songs are pleasant enough but they lack both memorable melodies and any trace of originality – even the guitar tone apes Gregor Mackintosh's so closely it's disconcerting. The title of the first track almost says it all…
Yet just as I was about to write off the band as second-rate clones, the album takes a surprising turn for the better as it reaches the mid-way point. Suddenly the band seems to have an injection of energy, there are some original ideas being developed, and more of an attempt to structure the songs in an interesting way. "Gravity" seems, musically at least, closer to the style of early Lacuna Coil and has some bruising riffs; the title track is grandiose and epic, with some great solo guitar work, whilst the closing "I Lost" manages the trick of remaining interesting and compelling throughout its eight-odd minutes, and has a real forcefulness and momentum about it. Sure, there's the odd clunker ("A Pause In The Disaster" is as bad as its title) but these later songs are generally an improvement on what has gone before.
Overall, I've probably been generous with a three star rating, given how generic the first few songs on this album are, but I think Scar Of The Sun definitely show some promise on some of the other tracks and if they can find their own voice and write more consistent material on subsequent releases I can see them progressing within the gothic metal genre.
2. Swansong of Senses
3. Ode To A Failure
4. 8th Ocean Dried
6. A Series Of Unfortunate Concurrences
7. Burn The Memory
8. A Pause In The Disaster
9. Disciple Of The Sun
10. I Lost