After a few spins of my review copy of ‘Tragic Idol’, I couldn’t wait to see PARADISE LOST live, especially in the intimate setting which is the Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent. This pretty lengthy UK club tour is chiefly a promotion vehicle for the new record which hits UK stores on St. Georges Day, conveniently bang in the middle of the tour.
After the melodic death metal of Finish record label buddies INSOMNIUM had warmed up the crowd nicely, PARADISE LOST burst on to the stage with the terrific new showcase track ‘Honesty In Death’, before the clocks were quickly turned back nearly 20 years, with the ancient classic ‘Widow’ surprising the Stoke crowd.
Regarding the set list, the band have obviously decided to use this intimate tour as an opportunity not only to air some new album tracks, but also to dust off a few rarely heard songs from the PARADISE LOST archive. This of course meant that something had to give, and classics like ‘Say Just Words’, ‘Hallowed Land’, ‘Embers Fire’ and ‘The Last Time’ were all missing from the set. Still, perhaps the hardcore fans didn’t mind so much, as the likes of ‘Symbol of Life’ and ‘Praise Lamented Shade’ were greeted with unanimous approval.
I think tonight is my 13th time seeing PARADISE LOST live, and I can never remember being at a gig of theirs which has had perfect sound. Tonight, Nick Holmes, was very low in the mix, or at least that’s how it sounded from the front of stage left. From what I could see though, Holmes was singing his heart out, with the veins in his neck almost at bursting point. It’s just a shame I could hardly hear him! I think it might be time PARADISE LOST got a new sound guy!?
As for the new material, pretty much any of the songs from the new album would work live. The best of them is the title track ‘Tragic Idol’, which is a really fine example of PARADISE LOST at the top of their game. The crunching, heavy chorus of ‘Fear of Impending Hell’ also worked wonders and was a real highlight of the encore.
For me, PARADISE LOST remain the unsung heroes of the British metal scene. With the quality of material they have, it really is amazing that they are still playing venues the size of the Sugarmill. I would thoroughly recommend seeing them on this tour, picking up the new album, oh, and making sure you’re on the front row to see them at Bloodstock. PARADISE LOST = legends.
Review by James Allman
View Setlist Here: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/paradise-lost/2012/the-sugarmill-stoke-on-trent-england-13de61f5.html
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