Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2015 So Far

23. Paradise Lost
The Plague Within
(Century Media)

We've come to realize that when metal bands "go back to their roots," it is, at best, boring and unconvincing. You can go back sonically, but you can't go back to the same headspace you were in as young buck 20-year-olds intent on taking on the world at any cost. Unless you're legendary doom metal band Paradise Lost, that is: on The Plague Within, the band make good on the promise they've been teasing us with over the past couple of almost-return-to-form discs, and the results are amazing.

This album sends shivers down my spine the same way Paradise Lost classics Draconian Times and Shades of God do; the band's rockin', stadium-doom approach to the genre is almost as vital as it's ever been. Couple this stunning album with the latest from guitarist Gregor Mackintosh's doom/death band Vallenfyre, and you'll quickly realize that sometimes old dogs do it best.
Greg Pratt