A cold Tuesday night seems quite appropriate an occasion for my first live experience of Doom legends Paradise Lost. To start off, local trio Owlcrusher blast out a brief set of sludge/doom. They make an impressive racket for a three piece, although the harsh vocals are certainly an acquired taste.
Sweden’s resurrected Outshine are a much more palatable affair-much of the material shares a slightly similar feel to the headliners, although they are somewhat restricted from having two drumkits onstage. New lead vocalist Tony Jelencovich possesses a surprising Mike Patton-esque vocal style, most noticeably in new song ‘They Know Who You Are’. Songs like ‘Agony’, comeback single ‘Liar‘ and the wondrous ‘Leave Now Honey’ are sure to have won over a few new fans and will continue to do so for the remainder of the support slot.
Halifax’s finest squeeze on to the famously compact “old” Limelight’s stage, a place designed with a duo in mind and kick off proceedings with a cut from last year’s Medusa –“From the Gallows”. Oldie “Hallowed Land” is warmly received, swiftly followed by “The Enemy” from In Requiem.
This particular reviewer (and a large proportion of the crowd) were more than happy to hear a few tracks from the band’s most well-known period-One Second sounds epic, with backing keyboards/synths adding greatly to the overall sound.
Frontman Nick Holmes’ dry wit makes one of its first appearances during the introduction to current album title track “Medusa”, and the reaction to it suggests many in the room are more than familiar with the newer material.
“Erased” sounds epic in a relatively small venue, as does the slower paced “Forever Failure” from Draconian Times, and receive a rapturous response from the near capacity Tuesday night audience. Newer song “Blood and Chaos” fits in well with “Eternal” and “Pity The Sadness”, which are played for some of the “older” fans.
The band is as tight live as would be expected from an impressively consistent lineup (four of the five members have been present from day one). Gregor Mackintosh churns out effortless riffs and solos, whilst the seemingly constantly jovial Aaron Aedy has the appearance of a man looking for some space to move about without the fear of a bass bouncing off his head.
“Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” mellows proceedings out briefly, and in doing so (deservedly so) garners one of the best responses of the evening.
“Return to the Sun” from 2015’s The Plague Within and sole track from the Icon album “Embers Fire” conclude the main set and the band shuffle off for what seems like an eternity. One suspects Mr Holmes was enjoying a pint of Guinness, following his ignored request for one earlier.
“No Hope in Sight” and “The Longest Winter” are blasted out in quick succession-before the almost ubiquitous “Say Just Words” wraps up proceedings for a decidedly varied set from a band very much still at the peak of their powers.