PARADISE LOST always had been a band that did not rely on the typical Death Metal and latest with their "Gothic"-album they had carved their very own niche, which they perfected with "Icon". Vocally Nick Holmes shows that he has a rough, but good clear voice, fully using it for the good of the song.
The whole album is marked by a very melancholic atmosphere, which to a big part is created by the incomparable guitar-lines of six-stringers Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy and unmistakable mark PARADISE LOST as, well, PARADISE LOST. You cannot really call "Icon" Death Metal anymore, especially the vocal brutality is missing, but genre-typical vocals would have destroyed much of the atmosphere of the album anyway...
Opener "Embers Fire" is a classic for the beginning, fairly slow-paced, with a very catchy guitar-melody and a dark overall atmosphere that you can hardly elude. And if there is some sort of hope shimmering through "Forged Sympathy", so the following "Joys Of The Emptiness" is brooding, suiting such a grey and desolate day like today...
"Dying Freedom" offers a lot of intensity and should be every dark Metalian's bliss, one the one side the guitars are crunching, on the other side there are emotional leads and the atmosphere just captures you! After the driving and heavy "Widow" PARADISE LOST switch to slow-motion again with "Colossal Rains" before offering us one of their three all-time-classics (together with "As I Die" and "Embers Fire"): "True Belief". With heavy guitars and an irresistible guitar-lead this song just grabs your attention from the very beginning with its intense and dense atmosphere, like only very, very few songs of this style, a true classic!
With "Icon" PARADISE LOST have re-defined a whole genre and forged their very own style, which is presented in almost perfect fashion here. An absolute classic that each Metal-collection should include!