While less so in their home country, they have been extremely popular in mainland Europe for many years, particularly in Greece and Germany, where they are regarded as mainstream rock stars. Paradise Lost's line-up has remained remarkably consistent as a long-standing heavy metal band, consisting of singer Nick Holmes, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, and bassist Steve Edmondson. Holmes and Mackintosh are the principal composers, with almost all of the band's songs credited to them. During the years, only the band's drumming position has changed, with original sticks man Matthew Archer leaving in 1994 to be replaced by ex-Marshall Law drummer Lee Morris although in March 2004, Morris also left the band. Drummer Jeff Singer took Morris' place and has played on all subsequent releases, though he was not listed as a permanent band member until the release of the single The Enemy in 2007. In a recent video interview, Mackintosh and Holmes revealed that Singer had already auditioned for the band when Archer left, but they chose Morris instead because "[Jeff] had a pink drumkit".
Up to 1989, the band recorded demo cassettes. Then they made a contract with Peaceville Records for producing their first album Lost Paradise. Their debut was well received by press and fans alike. In November 1990, Paradise Lost went back to Academy Studios, to work on the second album. 1991's Gothic (also on Peaceville Records) was the band's first success and one of the most influential albums within the scene. The album was labeled a "classic" and was rated highly by both fans and critics. The album expanded beyond the traditional Death/Doom format, being more melodic, featuring symphonic orchestra and female vocals by the singer Sarah Marrion. With this album the band pushed the term "gothic" into the metal scene and started a new wave of gothic metal. Paradise Lost was signed to the Music for Nations label, and returned in 1992 releasing the album Shades Of God in July.The album contained the song "As I Die", later released as a single/EP, which is also known as the hymn for Paradise Lost fans.. In summer 1993, the band commenced work on their fourth full-length record - Icon which was released on September in the same year.The album hit the national German charts at number 31. It's considered as a gothic metal masterpiece and solidified the band's position in the mainstream metal scene. Draconian Times, one of the band's most successful albums arrived in June 1995. A limited edition digipack offered a second disc dubbed 'Live Tracks, Demos & B-Sides', comprising five live recordings as well as demos and outtakes. In order to promote the album, Paradise Lost went on a huge tour through the continents of Europe, South America, Australia, and played in Japan as well.
On November 26th, 2007 Century Media released the documentary "Over The Madness" displaying the impact Paradise Lost has had on Gothic metal and giving an insight into the mindset and workings of Paradise Lost. Disc 2 includes further interviews, rehearsal footage plus backstage and memorabilia sections.
Having supported the Finnish Symphonic metal band Nightwish in North America, Paradise Lost will return to Europe in December, with support from Novembre, Godsplague and Swallow The Sun, later supporting Finnish Rockers HIM.
On August 13, 2008, drummer Jeff Singer announced on the Paradise Lost official website his departure from the band. His reasons were because he wanted to be with his family, he had an upcoming job, and that the then-upcoming South American tour would interfere with that. As a result, Paradise Lost had to cancel the South American tour dates that they had planned.
On August 28, 2008, the Paradise Lost official website announced that the cancelled South American tour has been reconfirmed and that they will tour it as Mark Heron from Oceansize will take care of the drums' duties after Jeff Singer's departure.