Paradise Lost

Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Good, old Paradise Lost rolled into town one moist and chill autumn evening – one could almost say they brought the English national weather with them.
The gloomy forecast fit well with what was about to happen though, as Paradise Lost has with their latest record, The Plague Within, returned to a grimmer and gloomier sound than what they have had for a long time!

“Good evening Copenhagen, how are you doing? We are Paradise Lost from Sweden!”
- Nick Holmes (vocals)

That Paradise Lost would eventually turn to grimmer tides was not a question of if, but rather when. With Gregor Mackintosh getting more in touch with death metal song writing through his Vallenfyre project, and Nick Holmes getting back in the saddle with growling due to his inclusion in Bloodbath, that time had now come. It is very evident in the sound of The Plague Within, and was equally evident in the setlist of the tour, which showcased, among others, The Painless, a song off the Gothic album not played much, and the possibly best rendition of As I Die in many, many years.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The sold out Pumpehuset told a clear tale of supportive fans, and after having their fellow Brits in Lucifer warm up the crowd with their throwback ‘Seventies doom sound, Paradise Lost delivered quite a surprise as they used the quite excellent Lost Themes by John Carpenter from start to as far as they got, as the in-between shows music. That’s one sure way to grease up this reporter, I’ll tell you that much right now!
A short bit of specially made electronical sounds as the band walked on, and then we were quickly off into No Hope In Sight, a bleak title for an opening track, but not a surprising choice as it is also the opener of the new album. Said album was also the largest single contributor to the setlist this evening, delivering close to half of the songs played. That’s a daring move, having so many brand new songs played, but the boys took a gamble, and it seemed to pay off – the crowd loved it!

Paradise Lost have never been especially physically active on the stage, with the possible exception of Aaron Aedy who can work up quite a sweat, but even so they managed to create a very good energy during the show. Also, despite the gloomy setup mentioned earlier, there was a very positive vibe about the whole deal. Holmes often came with comments and his brand of dark humour between songs, and Mackintosh was uncharacteristically smiling and friendly towards the crowd.
Adrian Erlandsson was apparently out with At The Gates, one of his many, many other bands, and filling in for him was a young Finn by the name of Waltteri Väyrynen. For those who didn’t know it, myself included, he is also the live drummer for Mackintosh’s Vallenfyre, something that obviously made him a good candidate for the role. He didn’t draw much attention to himself, but laid down the drums just the way they needed to be.

“Is everybody drinking? (Yeah!) I know, I can tell.”
- Holmes (vocals)

As mentioned, Pumpehuset was sold out this evening, and we could feel the heat of the hall rising. Still, most people were content to shout and clap their hands in the beginning, with only some rows in the front headbanging away.
More and more joined in the fun throughout the gig though, and when we reached As I Die, I saw both a stage diver and a large moshpit, which is extremely positive for a band like Paradise Lost, who by themselves don’t call much for this type of reaction.
Everyone was happy though, whether taking a physical part in the action, or simply singing along to the songs. I was impressed by the love the new songs got, and only Beneath Broken Earth, however cool it may sound on album, pulled the tempo down a bit too much for my taste. The band also managed to mess up the beginning of Flesh From Bone, but Holmes was quick with his dry wit and commented that, fuck it, this was a live show after all, and that Metallica did it all the time.

Paradise Lost had a lot of things going for them this night in Copenhagen.
They were all performing at the top of their game, the sound was excellent where I was standing, and the setlist, standardized though it may be (except for the new songs of course), made some very good dips into the history of the band. I was especially blown away by Erased, and want to thank the band for reminding me just how good this song can be.
All in all, this was one of those shows where I felt myself being directly transported back to my early teenage days when I first came in contact with the band, and could stand for hours on end with a friend, blazing out one air-guitar solo after the other, and headbanging until we fell over.
Despite being bleak, wet, and cold outside, I can still only remember the warmth and ecstasy of the show inside.


No Hope In Sight
The Painless
Praise Lamented Shade
Victim Of The Past
Flesh From Bone
Beneath Broken Earth
As I Die
Return To The Sun
Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
An Eternity Of Lies
Say Just Words

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