Paradise Lost @ TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 6 November 2017

I had never been to the new TivoliVredenburg venue. The building is pretty huge, especially compared to the clubs I usually go to. It is several floors high and has many halls. Paradise Lost played at the sixth floor. So that meant many escalator trips up.

The opening band was the Portugese Sinistro. They play a sludgy, rather minimalistic doom metal with emphasis on the female vocals. There was no bass player but only two guitarist. Musically I found them rather dull, and I don’t care for the girlish female vocals. However the drummer played a very interesting rhythms and fills.

The other support act was Pallbearer. For this band, I didn’t like the drummer much. His playing style doesn’t suit the band very well and is too exuberant. Some of the guitar work was interesting but in the end the music didn’t appeal to me much. I had the same problem when I listened to them on the album.

Then it was time for Paradise Lost. They made some impressive albums in the early 1990s, went of into a more commercial direction and more or less returned to the doom style in 2000-something. Even the grunt have returned on the last couple of albums. They don’t sound as powerful as before, though. Considering this, I half hoped they would play more songs of their first couple of albums. But they did not only As I Die was featured. There was a strong focus on the last two albums, which both are okay mostly. I really dig the slow song Beneath Broken Earth and it came across live really well. The mid-era songs like One Second appeared to be rather popular with the crowd, but I could have done without. Nick started out rather introverted during the gig, but became more loose half way, making some jokes here and there. Greg looked a bit out of place in his punk look and he didn’t seem to have much fun; his expression mostly stoic throughout the gig. How different is this when he plays with Vallenfyre. I guess that is his band for the fun, and Paradise Lost is for making a living. Musically it was all very solid. And they now have the best drummer they ever had who makes the songs a bit more lively. Still a band that doesn’t make a very outstanding performance, but it was solid all-in-all.

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