Saturday, 2 April 2011

Paradise Lost / Ghost Live Review

Well I so very nearly didn't make it to this gig with my fitness taking a turn for the worse. Even at the last minute I was close to giving it a miss but a sudden upturn in physical health and I somehow made it to the gig. Was it worth the effort? Well probably in the end no is the answer. Don't get me wrong though it was OK as a night out and at least I didn't let my ticket go to waste but the gig was merely alright in my opinion.

First up were the mysterious Ghost who keep getting rave reviews everywhere but have yet to convince me. Maybe the live setting would help them. Unfortunately it didn't me. Don't get me wrong they are cool to watch and the evil pope front man is very evil looking though slightly comical. The be-masked backing musicians are all fairly pedestrian and this band in general is very serene and fun to look at.

Unfortunately the sound at the Kentish Town Forum did not help them one jot. I could barely hear any guitars at all during the beginning and the vocals were delivered effortlessly but in an almost whisper making it hard to pick up the words. I don't know the album well apart from what I heard on youtube and it has moments of quirky melody that interest and is catchy to a point but I'm just not feeling it with Ghost. I think they could be quite good if they had more dynamic sweeps of sound. At the moment it all sounds so one paced and comically satanoramic and it doesn't do a lot for me.

By the way not one word is spoken by the Evil Pope in between songs which is quite cool and his hand gestures and sways in time with the music are quite cool and fun to watch. So my final thoughts on Ghost are that they are an amusing band to watch but the music is merely average to me but I'm glad to have seen them at least and seen what the fuss is all about.

Finally it was time for Bradford's miserable bastards of gloomy heavy metal Paradise Lost to play though perhaps their best album along with a few fan faves afterwards. This show was being filmed for a DVD and there were various cameramen dotted around the Forum along with a roving overhead crowdcam which swooped in and out. The sound was a little odd shall we say. The guitars for the whole gig sounded very high pitched and it lacked crunch and bottom end. It did improve as the gig went on but I'm sure this has something to do with the live recording of the DVD. They probably didn't want it to sound too bassy. I actually don't mind that cause normally metal gigs have way to much bass and drums but this was too much in the opposite direction. Also Nick's vocals were completely drowned out at times by the crowd singing the lyrics being far too low in the mix on many occasions. I'm all for crowd participation but I'd rather hear the lead singer's voice above every else thanks!

Anyway I must stop with the bitching and say a little about the gig. They started off with Enchantment of course the lead track from Draconian and like I said the sold out packed crowd was singing the words louder than Nick! It's been an age since I heard said album and it was good to hear those beautiful moody keyboard strains as the main riff kicks in. Nick was his usual sarcastic self with his between song banter from the stage. He sounded in fine voice when I could hear him. One of my favourite PL songs of all time Forever Failure was brilliantly played and sung followed by Once Solemn one of the heaviest and most upbeat songs from the album which got quite a pit going. Actually the Friday night neanderthals were in town and it got a bit rougher than you'd expect for a PL gig to be honest but I guess this is what pissed up metalheads do!

Finally they reached the final song of the album Jaded, which is quite a moody and cool song with which to end the main part of the set to rapturous applause. After a three or four minute break the band returned for the first encore with a few hits. True Belief is one of my fave PL songs ever if not THE best summation of the band's talents. The crowd loved this one with it's depressing dark atmosphere and epic chorus. One Second and Say Just Words both went down a storm too being two of the band's biggest hits and poppiest moments.

A second encore then followed which of course ended with As I Die which is now like the band's Enter Sandman of sorts. It seems the band just has to play it. It is a cool and catchy tune but to be honest it doesn't do a great deal for me but of course if the fans don't hear it they won't let them get out alive probably!

So in the end an OK gig but nothing that will live that long in the memory banks. PL are a hugely popular band amongst all kinds of metalheads from black metallers to gothsters and it showed by the vast array band shirts on view in the crowd and pretty much all of 'em went home pretty happy I would guess. I look forward to see how this DVD will turn out and at least I can say I was there even if it wasn't THAT great personally speaking of course!

  1. Encore:

  2. Encore 2:

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