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Paradise Lost - Roundhouse, London - November 3 2013 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 05 November 2013 Written by Alec Chillingworth

If any band deserves a party, it's Paradise Lost. Having risen from the depths of the death metal underground with their monumental 'Gothic' album back in 1991, the self proclaimed 'Yorkshire Puddings' have since embarked on a musical rollercoaster ride violent enough to earn a spot at Alton Towers.

They went through the 'dodgy electronic phase' (although, actually, some of it was quite good). They experimented with symphonics. They fell into relative obscurity within the confines of their own country. Then, of course, came the inevitable comeback. These days, Paradise Lost are heavier than ever and to prove it, they brought one hell of a show to rock the Roundhouse and mark their 25th anniversary.

First up were Swedish doom overlords Katatonia, who treated the crowd with a rendition of their 'Viva Emptiness' album in its entirety, but did a Metallica and played it backwards. Unlike the 'Black Album', though, 'Viva Emptiness' doesn't end with the worst song on the record.

The double doom onslaught of Wait Outside and Omerta was more than enough to wake the punters up and singalongs erupted during the morbid whine of Walking By A Wire and Criminals, plastering cartoon grins upon the faces of people who dress as if smiling is a crime. It was glorious. Absolutely glorious.

Lacuna Coil strolled on stage with determination etched on their faces. They looked like they were headlining an arena. And they sounded like it, sort of. Their raucous brand of symphonic metal went off like a grape in a microwave, inciting mass crowd participation from the get go. Leading lady Christina Scabbia has a mighty voice and her delivery on tunes such as Heaven's A Lie was pitch perfect.

But, Andrea Ferro. The other vocalist of Lacuna Coil, Ferro's job is to provide the harsher side to the band's Beauty And The Beast approach, but his vocals were all over the shop, resulting in, well, a mustachioed Italian bloke basically shouting over Scabbia's gorgeous melodies. Not even that could ruin Spellbound – an epic, genuinely anthemic closing tune, which made the prospect of the Coil returning to the UK next year very exciting indeed.

Of course, it all paled in comparison to Paradise Lost. The daddies of doom were greeted like returning heroes. Frontman Nick Holmes bounded on stage, getting on one knee and striking a pose before taking the band straight into the deafening rumble of Mortals Watch The Day.

Paradise Lost were a revelation. Adrian Erlandsson pounded the kit just as hard as he did with Cradle of Filth and At The Gates, providing the muscular backbone to the band's sound. When it came to fretwork, the focus was all on Greg Mackintosh. Let's face it – the man's a genius, and every time he ripped into one of his left-handed guitar solos, all eyes (and lights, in fact) were focused on the dreadlocked Yorkshireman.

In the spirit of their 25th Anniversary, Paradise Lost set about showcasing a wide range of material. While So Much Is Lost and Rotting Misery were interesting additions, Tragic Idol and Gothic really reaped the desired reaction. The latter song highlighted the upsetting fact that Holmes can't growl like he used to, but no matter. He is a true showman, demanding that people 'clap like you're watching U2' during Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us.

The bizarre highlight of the night came in the form of industrial stomper Isolate, a track seldom played. Holmes introduced it with a tongue in cheek countdown in German, with the song itself speaking volumes about Paradise Lost. Even during their supposed 'grey period' they still kicked arse and churned out tremendous tunes. At the Roundhouse, they proved just how much we need them. Recorded for a live release, this was a true celebration of one of Britain's most creative and under-appreciated bands. Alright, so they didn't get Scabbia on to duet during Say Just Words. But then again, it's Paradise Lost. They can do whatever they bloody well please.


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