Paradise Lost

Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2022

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It’s been many a long year since Paradise Lost, one of my all-time favourite bands, swung by. Sure, there’s been a lockdown and such delaying the whole thing, but still. Obsidian, their latest album, was released about two and a half years ago, and they were finally showing up with a tour to support it. Not surprisingly, I was pretty damned excited going in.

“Good evening Copenhagen. We are Paradise Lost from England, but I guess we already established that when you walked through the door.”
- Nick Holmes (vocals)

Amager Bio had already been put in a good mood for the show by the French support band, Hangman’s Chair, but even with all the praise for that band, it was easy to feel where the weight of the love lay tonight. As Paradise Lost opened with the classic track Enchantment, the room erupted in cheers. I for one was not late in joining in - this was after all the opening track of the album that made me fall in love with the band all those many years ago. Draconian Times was the first time I heard Paradise Lost, so opening with a song off that album, well, it couldn’t have been a better choice.
Going forward, Paradise Lost kept a highly varied set, bringing mostly songs from Obsidian of course, but reaching as far back as Gothic when deciding what went on the list. There will always be songs one miss, especially with a career now encompassing no less than 16 albums, but I think the Halifax lads had managed a balanced mix of live staples and lesser played tracks. Eternal from the aforementioned Gothic album was a great example of the latter, being a track I can’t remember ever hearing them play live before - at shows I’ve attended, mind you.

A lot of what would right now be considered middle of the timeline albums were skipped altogether however. Most surprisingly here is perhaps Host; not that it would have yelled very well with the rest of the selection, but Holmes and Greg Mackintosh have after all very recently begun to retread those steps with their newly form side project simply called Host, where they’ll create new tracks in the vein of the -99 album.
Not that this has any bearing on the show as such, I just very much like the album, and wanted to throw this info out there for anyone interested.

Back on stage, we could see a band that’s aged, but managed to keep their vitality alive. The drumkit was once again occupied by a new face, with live helper Guido Montanarini (bandmate of Mackintosh from his other side project, Strigoi). Mackintosh was once again adorned with a new hairdo, and while Steve Edmondson was looking a bit more grandpa-like with his bald head and caveman beard, Aaron Aedy was as fit as ever.
The energy was on top though, and the band really delivered all they had. The songs were powerful, and contrary to Hangman’s Chair before them, Holmes knew full well how to entertain his audience between songs as well, with his trademark superdry humour. Among other things, he told us in a serene voice that The Devil Embraced was about accepting the Prince of Darkness into your life every day, something he himself did at either 8 AM or 6 PM, depending on which fit best. He also couldn’t understand why no one had come to the show dressed up like a pumpkin, as it was Halloween after all (technically, Halloween was still two days away, but that put it on a Monday, and Saturdays are just better for a party, I guess.)

I must admit, I can’t imagine how the band could do a better job of a show than they did - and I don’t think it’s just the long abstinence talking. For all my love for the band, I’m not above criticising them if they don’t rise to the task, but they most certainly did this night.
One especially memorable moment was the opening of Darker Thoughts, with Holmes alone on stage, singing over a sound clip. That was absolutely beautiful, and that’s one way i’ll remember this show down the line.


Blood & Chaos
Faith Divides us - Death Unites Us
One Second
The Enemy
As I Die
The Devil Embraced
No Hope in Sight
Say Just Words
Darker Thoughts
Embers Fire

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