right then which of Paradise Lost album would you get a first time listener to check out...
The thing with Paradise Lost is that they've changed so much over the years and then recently have gone full circle and sort of returned to their roots.
So if you're looking for some classic Paradise Lost, start with "Draconian Times" or "Icon".
If you are interested in their synthon/gothic rock phase, check out "Host", which is an excellent album no matter what anyone else tells you.
With "Paradise Lost" they returned to their gothic/doom metal sound and have progressively gotten harder with each album since then. I think all the post-synth material is top notch, but if had to pick a favourite or two, I'd go with "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us" and "In Requiem".
I have to mention that I have not heard the new album yet, so that one was not taken into consideration.