Paradise Lost, Primordial @ Tivoli, Utrecht, 15 October 2023

Under the name Ultima Ratio Fest four bands went on a European tour for two weeks, which ended in Utrecht, The Netherlands. They played at the same day Europe was headlining a gig in the same venue. So quite some rockers and metalheads in the building. Last time I saw Paradise Lost was in the same building but in a smaller hall. Then it was sold out, now it wasn’t. I skipped the first band as Harakiri for the Sky plays post-blackmetal or whatever and that is not something I like.

When I entered the venue Omnium Gatherum from Finland had just started their second song. They are said to play melodic death metal, but frankly I hear very little death metal, maybe except the vocals. There barely are any riffs, and the main focus is guitar melodies with some drowned out keyboard in the background. Although the guitar leads were kind of interesting, it wasn’t all that great.

The main band that I wanted to see was the Irish Primordial. They had just released a new album, which – after a couple of listens – sounds pretty good. They started of with When Rome Burns, which is of their probably still best album To The Nameless Dead. Of course a couple new songs had to be played too and they fitted right in with the older songs. Especially Victory Has 1000 Fathers, Defeat Is an Orphan is a very interesting track with the awesome opening riff. Of course The Coffin Ships and Empire Falls found their spot in the set too. No real surprises. Maybe a bit short as they normally play 90 minute set, but all in all quite a good gig.

Paradise Lost from the UK is never the most interesting live band. The band always seems to make very little impression on stage. This time they played the songs well. Even though their music is relatively simple, that hasn’t always been the case. For the set they chose predominantly the lighter tracks from their career and barely any songs with grunts. Whereas I would have expected them to play a couple of songs from Icon as they had just re-recorded it as it turned 30 years old. Yet only Embers Fire was featured on the set. As I Die was probably the most aggressive song they played. Not a bad gig, but also not the best ever, for sure. But short for sure, barely an hour.

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