Paradise Lost @ Gothenburg, Malmö (SWE)

PARADISE LOST / SWALLOW THE SUN

Date: 15th May / 17th May, 2012
Venue: Sticky Fingers / KB
Tickets: 250 SEK (€26.50)
Promoter: Live Nation
Photos: Erika Wallberg


I was really filled with anxiety during SWALLOW THE SUN’s set before PARADISE LOST in Gothenburg. I’d chased my anticipation on the main act to a level not really healthy. So for that sake I can’t say I gave SWALLOW THE SUN a really fair chance in Gothenburg. Luckily I knew what to expect a few days later at KB in Malmö and could relax and enjoy the show a bit more at least.

I really like the different atmosphere that SWALLOW THE SUN manage to create; they can go from brutal to soft to slow so effortless and keep about the same sound in the music. In many cases the volume goes up and down when the music holds this many changes. So from that perspective I think SWALLOW THE SUN’s performance was really impressive. Then of course the same thing bugs me a bit because I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of everything this band does. From time to time it feels like there are too many changes and the turn from almost Death Metal to the atmospheric Doom-y parts becomes a bit too much at times. Another thing that turned me off, according to my taste, was the very prominent back tracks. Sure, it builds a lot of SWALLOW THE SUN’s atmosphere but when there are entire guitar melodies pre-recorded it is a turn off for me. This is a petty to complain about because SWALLOW THE SUN sounds amazing and the control they show when performing is phenomenal. Quite synonymous with Finish bands though but here the blackness and melancholy suited like a glove.

SWALLOW THE SUN @ Gothenburg

Swallow The Sun @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg)

SWALLOW THE SUN @ Malmö

Swallow The Sun @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Swallow The Sun @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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And then finally the time had come for PARADISE LOST to hit the stage. One of the reasons for my anxious anticipation was because PARADISE LOST used to be my absolute favorite band and because they’ve climbed back on that ladder with huge steps these last few years. So, let’s put it like this, their Gothic period… Ehm, Goth era perhaps, from about the “One Second” album and a few years forward, not the “Gothic” album, wasn’t my favorite period in this bands history. But from “In Requiem” and forward it has just gotten better and better.

To compare the two concerts, the one in Malmö was the strongest just because one simple thing; the volume. It’s actually strange how a little bigger PA system can change so much of a live experience. I was completely satisfied after the concert in Gothenburg too of course but feeling of elation just rolled along in Malmö. The overall best thing though was to see PARADISE LOST back in shape as the great live act they used to be. Ok, they have been doing great shows for a few years, of course but it still is worth pointing out. It was on the “Shades Of God” tour, about 20 years ago I got hooked for real to PARADISE LOST and all feelings from back then came back seeing them this time, that hasn’t happened at all in recent years. Sure, the visual aspect of the band has changed a bit but I could feel the same things, guitar player Aaron Aedy and bass player Stephen Edmondson flaking Nick Holmes on stage left, and on the other side, Gregor Mackintosh with his long black hair… The most important though is of course the music and how it is being delivered. That too had the same intensity as it used to have. The concerts started very strong with “Widow” and then “Honesty In Death”, one of my absolute favorites from PARADISE LOST’s brand new “Tragic Idol”. Then, even if I don’t have “Erased” as one of my favorite tunes I couldn’t help but get carried away along with all others at the concert. Actually, the rest of the crowd, both in Gothenburg and Malmö had almost as much to do with the over all impression as the band. It was rather long since I saw that kind of devotion from the crowd. Of course, exactly who were screaming had to do with the songs being played but still it was full on from the crowd from start to end. Also, the variation of the crowd was truly fascinating, in Gothenburg for example, there’s this bald guy dancing like crazy straight through the concert. In front of him, closest to the stage one girl, styled to her teeth screaming in high pitch, next to her two guys whom I thought missed the door to the sports-club and by mistake ended up at a concert instead. But no, all equally devoted to the concert. Really cool I would say. I can’t deny that the old school material was what I was waiting for, “Forever Failure” sounded amazing. “Pity The Sadness”, one of my all time PARADISE LOST favorites, I’m not all convinced here. Nick could have been screaming a bit more, but I’m still really happy that I got to hear it live. “As I Die” was absolutely flawless.

In Gothenburg, since this was the first of the two concerts, I was rather surprised when PARADISE LOST left the stage after 45 amazing minutes. For a second I thought that was all we were going to get. Of course that wasn’t the case. The encores lasted for another 20 minutes at least, starting with “One Second” and again the crowd went completely nuts. Since this was the record where my doubts about PARADISE LOST started I have a bit hard to devote myself complete, still I must admit both this one and “Say Just Words” are amazing songs and they both works extremely well live. The other two encore songs though were the best and strongest part of the whole concert for me. “Fear Of The Impending Hell” from “Tragic Idol” and then especially “Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us”, title track from PARADISE LOST’s last album. When everyone was screaming along to the chorus line Vanquish the pain sent shivers down my spine, especially for the last chorus when Nick didn’t even sing, just the crowd almost shouted down the music. Absolutely fantastic!

Another thing that struck me when seeing the concert in Malmö, everything felt a lot more familiar and friendly. Nick seemed happier and kept talking to the crowd, commenting about numerous earlier visits to town and laughing at the reaction he got back. Performance vise there wasn’t much to tell the shows apart but all other things around really separated the concert at KB in Malmö and made that one really stand out. And the only thing I can think of is when the next opportunity will come to see PARADISE LOST, then I can leave the anxiety at home and just go there and wait for a great show.

PARADISE LOST setlist:

01. “Desolate”
02. “Widow”
03. “Honesty in Death”
04. “Erased”
05. “Forever Failure”
06. “Soul Courageous”
07. “In This We Dwell”
08. “Praise Lamented Shade”
09. “Pity the Sadness”
10. “As I Die”
11. “Symbol of Life”
12. “Tragic Idol”
13. “The Enemy”
14.“One Second”
15. “Fear of Impending Hell”
16. “Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us”
17. “Say Just Words”

PARADISE LOST @ Gothenburg

Paradise Lost @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ Ssticky Fingers (photos by Erika Wallberg)

PARADISE LOST @ Malmö

Paradise Lost @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg) Paradise Lost @ KB (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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