Paradise Lost

Wacken - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Paradise Lost was the first band of the day for us on the last day of Wacken 2012, and what better way to start the day than this?

”It’s an incredible privilege to be here at Wacken for the first time in our 100 years long career.”
- Nick Holmes (vocals)


Well, honestly, the surroundings could possibly have been more fitting for their general sound, but the way they were, with the sun shining and them surprisingly playing on the Party Stage, it all felt pretty good anyway. Holmes even mentioned that the band was happy with the weather the way it was and that they had been concerned about the rain. With the way it had rained earlier in the festival and the way the ground looked around the festival area, I’d guess concerned was an understatement had you asked an of the festival goers at this point, but that’s all the more reason to appreciate things as they were, wasn’t it?

Anyway, on to the show...
Since the last time we saw Paradise Lost, the set had seen some minor revisions; it was surprising to hear The Enemy open the day, and as sad as I was over seeing the loss of songs like Widow and Embers Fire, as glad was I to see a Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us song, the title track no less, join in.
The show as a whole had stayed pretty much the same though, and I was delighted to again see a great mood in Gregor Mackintosh and Nick Holmes, who once again proved to be very chatty between songs. He might have tried to conceal the fact that he was happy with some would be bleak things to say sometimes, but his real mood shone through and made it apparent that the band also though it was about time they visited the largest metal festival in the world. One of Holmes more cryptic comments, if you can call it that, was that once in a while he would just shout “Barney”; this was explained later as he said he was just trying to start up a conversation with his buddy Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway of Napalm Death who were playing on the Black Stage at the same time. This didn’t work out though, as it seemed Napalm Death was playing music every time Paradise Lost was between songs...
Aaron Aedy and Stephen Edmondson were as good as they ever were, Aedy in his smiling and lively fashion and Edmondson in his more laid back, almost stiff way of playing, but I was surprised to see another face than Adrian Erlandsson’s behind the drumkit; as it turned out, Erlandsson was unable to attend this and one more show because of conflicting schedules (I’m guessing he was touring with At The Gates), and Paradise Lost had brought in an old colleague in Jeff Singer, their to date shortest term drummer. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the name, he was the one who played on the self-titled and the In Requiem albums, and even though The Enemy was the only song played from these two combined, and that more than half the set consisted of songs done after his stint in the band, he did a very good job of it. I’m just surprised he wasn’t introduced at some point during the show.

Except for Aedy, who’s always full of life when on a stage, the band was giving a pretty calm performance though, but the huge (albeit loosely packed) audience didn’t mind. Probably hangovers, very muddy ground and sleep deprivation had a little something to do with the crowd also being rather still standing, but it didn’t stop anyone from sending loud shouts and applause the bands way between songs. The classic As I Die also got a good fan treatment as the audience got to be solo singers each time the titled was mentioned in the song. While on the subject of As I Die, I would also like to point positively to the fact that Holmes was taking a far darker and deeper approach to the vocals in this than what we have heard from him in many, many years, and it suited the song perfectly.
Still, it was probably the new songs Fear Of Impending Hell and the title track Tragic Idol which were my favourites of the day, as they were played with such conviction it was moving.

All did not go the bands way though; in One Second Holmes’ concerns were made flesh as a small rain began falling on us. Whether this had anything with the following problem or not I cannot say, but towards the end of the show Aedy began experiencing issues with his equipment, so much in fact that a stage technician rushed in to help have a look at his effects board in Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us, and even though it gave a small respite, the problems soon returned and forced him to change guitar for the last song, Say Just Words, to be able to finish.

Even so, Paradise Lost once again proved an utter pleasure to behold and I was already beginning to look forward to the week after where I would see them again at Metalcamp.

Setlist:

The Enemy
Honesty In Death
Erased
As I Die
Tragic Idol
Forever Failure
One Second
Fear Of Impending Hell
Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
Say Just Words

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