I had it on good authority that the previous nights show in Antwerp was good, so was looking forward to see the line-up for myself. As the only UK date on this tour, you knew that Paradise Lost would pull out something special for tonight. Opening with Portuguese doom rockers Sinistro[3.8], who recently released a cover of Paradise Lost’s ‘Nothing Sacred’ (Nick Holmes commented: “This song was always a favourite of mine from the ‘Host’ era, not an obvious song to do, so it’s nice to hear a different take on it!”). Grace the stage with Patricia Andrade’s haunting vocals, as the heavy drown of guitar and bass kink in. Her presence on stage is like that of a rag doll, being pulled around on strings. A truly theatrical performance, as she stands all in black attire as usual. The red lights illuminate the bands silhouettes as though we are at a shadow puppet show. With bassist Fernando Matias playing his instrument face down like a nodding dog, the ambient tones and melodies fill the ballroom. A new song from their highly anticipated new album ‘Sangue Cássia’ (due January 5th 2018), shows a more progressive sound. It has a thunderous intro, leaving Patricia holding her chest as we feel the bass. Altogether it was an intimate and tender experience with waves of aggression.

Pallbearer’s[4.0] set started with some guitar technical issues that were soon sorted out, with some fast work from the crew. Opener ‘Worlds Apart’ blow me away, as their sound intensely bellowed out of the PA. With a satisfying chugging from the guitars and bass, mixed with the twin vocals from guitarist Brett Campbell and bassist Joseph D. Rowland. I really enjoyed their set; having never seen them live before. It was a enjoyable mix of prog guitar work and solid instrumentals, pulled together with majestic melodies. Their current release ‘Heartless’ showcased two songs in tonight’s set; the title track and ‘Dancing In Madness’. The fury and passion on stage was solid, you can see how much they love playing live. Joseph was forever engaging with the crowd and really trying to get everyone involved, which added to their charm on stage.

Tonight’s crowd having been very welcoming to the previous bands, however you can tell they were all here for the headliners Paradise Lost[5.0]. After six weeks in Europe this is one of only two UK shows on this tour, the other being at Damnation Festival, so tonight is a special show. Vocalist Nick Holmes comments on how good it is to be back, as he has missed walkers crisps and pot noodles. As usual his wit and dry humour are strong throughout the set.

Opening with the first of many tracks from this years album ‘Medusa’, ‘From The Gallows’ is raw and deep in doom. The deep red lighting on stage, helps emphasise the goth/doom atmosphere of tonight’s show. With nearly three decades of material to dive through, I was happily surprised with the mix in the song choices. With the recent re-issue of 1997’s album ‘One Second’, I was overjoyed when they started playing the title track. The song still sounds fresh with the synths mixed with the guitars. After a bit more growling vocals on ‘Gods of Ancient’, we are taken back to the album ‘Draconian Times’ with ‘Enchantment’. The crowd goes wild singing along and embracing the moment. This vibe continues with ‘Erased’, as the guitar riffs fly and fill the Electric Ballroom.

As the second half of the set kicks in with recent album title track ‘Medusa’, Nick’s vocals step back into growl mode. The doom and gloom of the last two albums (‘Medusa’ and ‘Plague Within’) have really created a dark atmosphere, which contrasts well with their older gothic style. A slower tone is created with ‘Faith Divides Us – Death Divides Us’, giving us time to become mellow. Before ‘Blood and Chaos’ starts we are invited to create a moshpit, which does slightly start down the front. The heavy guitars and pounding drums ignite the room in a thunderous motion of headbanging and nods. More gems from the past arrive in the form of ‘As I Die’, which the mini moshpit tries to continue while the rest sing along, shouting the chorus. The toned down drown of ‘Beneath Broken Earth’ breaks through the darkness on stage, with Nick under a single red spotlight. The guitar solo pitch is perfect, as it has been all night. The memorable guitar riff of ‘Embers Fire’ ends the second half of the set with grace and power.

The encore begins with ‘No Hope In Sight’ from 2015 ‘Plague Within’, the crowd embrace the heavy riffs and monumentus guitar solos. As we continue with ‘The Longest Winter’, the rhythm of the guitars and bass embrace Nick’s clean vocals. Whilst also shrouding underneath his growls, which has made ‘The Longest Winter’ one of the most memorable tracks from ‘Medusa’. No Paradise Lost set is complete with out ‘Just Say Words’, as the crowd explodes with praise. The song is tight and sounds fantastic like the rest of tonight’s set. Song choice tonight was great and well balanced with old and new. I really enjoyed the gig and can’t to see them again in Bristol next year.

About The Author

Always on the lookout for new music, Jo has an eclectic taste from 80’s synth pop to black metal. Music creates many emotions and memories for Jo, using it as a soundtrack to her life. She en devours to absorb music, using it to inspire her creative works.

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