Formed in 1988 and crawling from the rustic backdrop of Halifax in England, this gothic metal quintet are in a typically down-beat, yet celebratory mood as they acknowledge their 25 years of service to the universe of rock. This album constitutes a collection of rarities which have been made available previously apart from two new versions of classic tracks, and a brand new recording.
There’s a newer version of Our Saviour which was initially recorded for their 1990 debut album Lost Paradise, plus a newer recording of Gothic which was originally composed for their 1991 sophomore album of the same name. In conjunction with these newer versions is a new song called Loneliness Remains which lumbers under the weight of struggle and shame.
Fans of both gothic metal and Everything But the Girl will find a novel rendition of Missing (originally found on the limited edition of In Requiem) buried amongst the audio darkness here. Talking of cover versions, Never Take Me Alive originally by Spear of Destiny is included and was originally released as part of the limited edition version of Tragic Idol.
If you purchased the special edition of their 2009 studio opus Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us, you’ll be familiar with a couple of orchestral versions of Last Regret and the title track. Cardinal Zero isn’t a cover, but presents a heavy riff and plenty of growling intent to satisfy whilst Silent in Heart continues the flow of quality.
Thanks to these 14 songs, it shares the glorious notion that bonus material doesn’t have to be throw-away or nonsense. Whilst looking back and acknowledging their impressive tenure, this collection simultaneously embraces the recent years of their output by accumulating what has been added as bonus material on the special versions of their recent albums. Tragic Illusion 25 is for die-hard fans and those who appreciate and embrace all that is powerfully dark from the realms of gothic metal.
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