» Paradise Lost 2005 05 06  
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Reviewed by guest reviewer Niklas
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Klubben
Date: 06 May 2005
Paradise Lost set length: 90 minutes


Orphaned Land

Warming up for Paradise Lost were Society 1 (American goth/metal band) and Orphaned Land (another goth/metal band, but from Israel). Didn't catch Society 1 unfortunately, but we arrived just as Orphaned Land started their gig. This band made three albums in the 90s and then made a long hiatus for eight years, before releasing the concept album "Mabool" last year. Apparently, they got this gig after performing a cover of Paradise Lost's "Mercy" on the tribute-CD "As I Die".

For a first-time listener, it was hard to get the hang of most of the songs. The endless keyboard sequences did nothing but annoy, and on top of that the singer Kobi Farhi didn't seem to have one of his better days. The instrumental parts were quite nice, though. Also, Orphaned Land deserves credit for singing in both Hebrew and Latin.

5 chalices of 10

(Sorry, no setlist)


Paradise Lost

The last time Paradise Lost visited Stockholm was in October, 2003. I had high expectations that evening, but left the gig feeling a tad disappointed. The band was fine, but they didn't receive the kind of support from the audience that is required to create the right kind of mood. The crowd that had gathered that particular night seemed to consist in large parts of the one half of Paradise Lost's fan base that would have preferred the band to keep walking the doom path of their earlier albums. This might explain all the hoarse "As I Dieee!!!"-screams from the back of the venue, each time sounding more and more desperate.

The time is now May, 2005. Paradise Lost, the band that coined the genre "gothic metal", has earlier this year released their self-titled 10th album, in my opinion their best in eight years. They are going to play at Klubben, again. However, as opposed to one and a half years ago, the audience this time seems to consist almost entirely by the other half of the Paradise Lost fan base. The half that encourages progress in music and cherishes Paradise Lost for being so diverse over the years.

"Don't Belong" might not be the most immediate track to open a concert with, but that doesn't stop the fans from being on their toes from the start. And with "Grey", the song that was long rumoured to be the first single from the new album, the audience surrenders completely to Paradise Lost. Vocalist Nick Holmes and his band mates seem overwhelmed by the great reply (perhaps they remember the lame response from the last time they were here…?) and in a heartbeat looks very inspired.

Half of the set list consists of songs from the new album. Not bad, since first and foremost "Redshift" and "All You Leave Behind" is greeted with open arms. Another new favourite is "Accept the Pain", which Nick tells us was originally named "Paradise Lost". It seems the band is particularly fond of this track - the title is even printed on their merchandise. Another track they seem to enjoy to play is "Close Your Eyes". It wasn't one of my favourites initially, but it has grown on me. This song was meant to be played live!

This would have been a close to perfect Friday night, if not for a few disappointments. Nick Holmes has done everyone a huge favour by laying off his stand-up comedy routines that characterized the previous tour. Most of the routine, at least. The few jokes he tries to pull falls flat this time as well, mostly due to the fact that it's difficult to understand what the man is saying. If this is a minor fault, I have major complains about the set list. Paradise Lost obviously wants to perform many new songs, rightly so. However, not at the expense of several classics! No "Say Just Words", no "Mouth", no "Isolate", no "Mercy"...

The good outshines the bad, luckily. If Holmes' English is confusing, his singing is as good as ever. Along with the other gentlemen of the band, he gives an impressive performance during the evening's biggest crowd-pleasers; the incredibly catchy "Erased", the timeless classic "As I Die", the new single "Forever After" and their magnum opus "Hallowed Land". As the concert ends with the appropriate "The Last Time", I pray that this isn't "the last time" we are treated with a visit by the fathers of gothic metal.

8 chalices of 10


1. Don't Belong
2. Grey
3. True Belief
4. Erased
5. Redshift
6. Mystify
7. So Much Is Lost
8. Symbol of Life
9. Accept the Pain
10. No Celebration
11. All You Leave Behind
12. As I Die
13. Shine
14. Hallowed Land
15. Close Your Eyes
16. One Second

17. Forever After
18. Over the Madness
19. The Last Time

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