Paradise Lost – The Garage, Glasgow – 11th February 2022
Following the band playing the whole of the classic Gothic album at the Damnation Festival in November last year, Paradise Lost are back on the road. It is a full UK tour and an opportunity to feature material from the excellent 2020 album release Obsidian. With the pandemic, this is an album it was not possible for the band to play live at the time.
The tour has reached Glasgow, and landed at the iconic The Garage venue, which has hosted so many classic metal gigs. The venue is full, and the audience respond very warmly to supporting band Moonspell from Portugal, who are well known to Glasgow audiences. Their passionate and musically adventurous delivery, which combines gothic metal with progressive rock elements, ensures an engaging and very impressive set.
Paradise Lost take to the stage accompanied by a very eerie musical soundtrack, very much in keeping with what is to follow. They receive a tumultuous welcome and launch into Widow from the Icon album. It is a musical statement of intent, with the band thundering through the track with real energy and their impressively honed musicianship to the fore.
Fall From Grace, from Obsidian, is one of several tracks from that album played tonight. It is magnificently executed, with the bass and drums creating a cavernous doom rhythm, overlaid by Greg Mackintosh’s melodic guitar figures. The chorus refrain of the song, “We’re all alone”, feels strangely poignant given everything that has happened over the last two years.
Vocalist Nick Holmes tells the audience that it is great to be back in Glasgow. Blood and Chaos from the Medusa album follows, and witnesses Greg headbanging as he and the band smash through the song’s massive rolling riff. You can literally feel the waves of sound in your chest emanating from Waltteri Väyrynen’s drums.
When Nick announces, “an old song”, there are raised devil horns and fists in the audience. It is Eternal from the Gothic album, and Nick’s distinctive growled vocal is accompanied by some sledgehammer playing from the band. Steve Edmondson’s bass and Aaron Aedy’s rhythm guitar really come into their own here and drive the song forward.
The title track from the One Second album, which saw the band embrace a more electronic direction, is superbly played. With electronics, an emotional vocal by Nick, and a truly infectious Depeche Mode-like rhythm, it deservedly garners some of the strongest applause of the night. What is soon evident in tonight’s performance, is the ease with which Paradise Lost are able to range across their extensive album catalogue, imbuing each song with an energy and fresh musical arrangements, as if they are playing each song for the first time. Moreover, the material from the most recent studio album Obsidian is particularly strong played live.
The Devil Embraced, from Obsidian, played later in the set, is a prime example. It has another strong expressive vocal from Nick, and Greg’s beautifully free-flowing guitar work is underpinned by Waltteri’s jazz-like drum accents. A perfect rendition. Paradise Lost, rather engagingly, also have an ironic sense of humour. When Nick introduces one song as having a very negative title, he then quips about all their songs “…aren’t they all”, much to the mirth of the audience.
The Last Time from Draconian Times encourages much headbanging amongst the Glasgow audience, and a joint singing of the chorus with Nick. It’s probably also the heaviest riff of the evening. One of the absolute highlights of the set comes with the playing of Darker Thoughts, the opening track from the Obsidian album. It is the centrepiece of the four-song encore. The combination of gentle and majestic sections, with Greg’s stunning guitar soloing and Nick’s heartfelt singing, create something very special live.
At one point during the set Nick asks the audience if they have warmed up, describing it as freezing in the venue. Well, there can be little doubt of the warmth flowing between the band and audience during this fine set. Paradise Lost are a band incapable of playing below par and in fact both live and on record continue to push their music forwards. They are a towering presence in the metal world and unbeatable live.
View the official music video for Darker Thoughts – Live At The Mill, here: