I guess if call yourself a metal fan, then you are familiar with Paradise Lost.
The band that together with My Dying Bride and Anathema created the whole genre of Death/Doom Metal more then twenty years ago and later on just about singlehandedly defined Gothic Metal – a genre that became very popular in metal circles and since, just like any other underground phenomenon, it was modified by big record companies in order to fit the pop audience, and before you know it Goth-pop was all over the MTV. Fortunately the pioneers themselves never took any part in this.
Couple months ago the band released their twelfth studio album, Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us, which is one of their best releases in ages. The band visited Copenhagen’s’ The Rock (the place they also played last time they were in Denmark’s capitol), but this time around they had a new drummer (forth of a kind) with them, a Swede Adrian Erlandsson, known for his work with At The Gates, Cradle Of Filth and The Haunted.
Make sure to read our exclusive interview with Paradise Lost’s guitarist Aaron Aedy to find out about his views on Erlandsson, new album, playing live, The Rock and about his last twenty-two years in the band.
The Rock wasn’t sold out (as far as I know), but it was completely packed. While it’s far from being the best place to play in Copenhagen, The Rock has some kind of intimate charm and the feel of the underground that fits well the feel of rock and metal scene.
However it was clear that band wasn’t too trilled about the unusual shape of the stage at The Rock (just check posts on Nick Holmes’ twitter page where he among other things calls it “the worst shaped stage in the history of stage shapes!”, but no matter what the band took the stage at 11.30 PM, after almost an hour of delay.
Already by the first note of the opening track “The Rise Of Denial” the place was boiling partly because of the fact that the placed was packed and partly because of the quite poor ventilation at The Rock.
The band took the stage and instead of the band’s guitarist and main songwriter Greg Mackintosh there was some blonde bloke. The bloke proved to be the friend of the band, Milly Evans, and Nick Holmes thanked him shortly for stepping up and filling Mackintosh’s place, but never offered an explanation about why Mackintosh was missing, however later that evening I’ve found out that he was away due to a serious illness in the family.
A missing guitarist, delayed gig, lack of excitement about the venue – it all added up to somewhat weird start of the concert. However sound wise it was a quiet good start, perhaps just a bit too loud. The crowd enjoyed the opener and got really into the show by the time they played the second song of the evening “Pity The Sadness” and the followed by the singalong/jumpalong anthem “Erased”.
It all seemed very familiar – Holmes was singing even better live then on records, but as always he seemed cold and “above” the crowd. Steve Edmondson was distanced from the crowd as well, even more so then Holmes, but that has always been his way – never the less he just looked bored. Evans seemed bit out of place, but he gave it his best ant at the times even moved around like Mackintosh does. New drummer is a very good one (just look at his above mentioned CV), but live there is nothing about him that makes him stand out and he never tried to get any sort of contact with the crowd.
And then you have Aaron Aedy who is simply a complete opposite to all the other guys on the stage; he is into the music with every single riff and beat, smiling, talking and making eye contact with the members of the audience individually and just enjoying himself. Hats of to him for his energy and enthusiasm.
The band was sailing, for the most part, smoothly through the setlist, which was dominated by the songs from the latest album – however the smooth sail meant lack of something truly impressive. Perhaps it didn’t help that the setlist didn’t include a single song from Icon, PL X, Host or few other albums. Even more disappointing was that songs from these albums were not taken from the set to make place for newer songs – they were simply taken from the set. This meant that the band left the stage after fifty-five minutes, ending the regular part of the show with brilliantly powerful and potent version of “Requiem”.
Shorty after they returned and played three more songs; “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” which turned to be the best received new song of the evening, live favorite “The Last Time” and set closer/perfect live song “Say Just Words”.
I have seen Paradise Lost play just about any size crowd – be it ten’s of thousands of people at Roskilde Festival or couple of hundred people at Christiania’s Loppen – and the band never disappointed, but this evening they played the weakest show out of those six times I have seen them.
There was way too much routine about it, it was way too short (seventy minutes) and while the band can safely rest on their impressive back catalog and professionalism, it takes more then that and Aedy to make a very good show.
01 – The Rise Of Denial
02 – Pity The Sadness
03 – Erased
04 – I Remain
05 – As I Die
06 – The Enemy
07 – First Light
08 – Enchantment
09 – Frailty
10 – One Second
11 – No Celebration
12 – Requiem
13 – Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
14 – The Last Time
15 – Say Just Words