Paradise Lost, Potergeist // Stage Volume 1 club, Athens, Greece // 13.09.2014
Paradise Lost has been common visitors for our country from their early career. The love of the greek fans for the band is a fact and the band can’t wait to hit the stage in Athens and Thessaloniki as well. The last time we saw Paradise Lost performing was approximately two years ago, when the band made their worst ever performance in Greece. Their set in Rockwave Festival was a shame, their sound (actually the fest’s sound) was awful and Nick Holmes voice somehow broken. On the 13th of September the band, along with Potergeist, will have the chance to erase the memories of their latest bad performance with a concert in Stage Volume 1 venue.
Potergeist was the one and only support band for Paradise Lost. The band is well known in Greece for their swamp- southern metal songs and their latest release ‘ Swampires’ was appreciated by almost every fan of southern metal, stoner, doom or metal generally. The band did not perform for too long, because Paradise Lost was arranged to walk on stage at nine thirty in the evening. However, the band was able to perform some of their most famous songs, such as ‘Swampire’ or ‘Hope’ and even a new, unreleased one!
Potergeist had an excellent sound, with the members of the band getting themselves groovy in every note. Alex is an energetic frontman, moving around and making a hard effort to please the fans and amaze. His voice always reminds me of Phil Anselmo, especially in Potergeist’s songs. The unreleased material we were able to enjoy in the concert can be characterized as a heavy, stoner piece of work, heavier than everything the band has ever composed.
The band closed their performance and thanked the fans, who filled the venue as Paradise Lost’s set was coming closer. When the curtains closed and hid the stage, everyone knew what was about to follow. I was expecting the band to start with ‘The Enemy’ but Paradise Lost surprised me positively with ‘Mortals Watch the Day’. The band planned a setlist which will be appreciated by the fans of all the periods in the band’s timeline. For the hardcore, ‘death- years’ fans we had ‘Rotting Misery’, ‘Mortals Watch the Day’, ‘ Gothic’ and on the other hand, the band performed ‘ One Second’, ‘ So Much Is Lost’, ‘ Isolate’ as well.
Paradise Lost has lost their compelling and explosiveness on stage as the years have gone by. Nick Holmes’s voice is not the same after twenty five years of career and everyone grew older. However, yesterday I found Nick Holmes decent and satisfactory. He managed to perform with brutal vocals in their older songs and was able to sing better than the last time we watched him on stage, in Malakasa. Greg Machintosh was even more energetic this time and it seems that the band enjoyed their performance as well. The only thing that made the fans angry was the fact that the band performed for only one hour and ten minutes. I was expecting more from Paradise Lost, but on the other hand, the band never claimed that they can be the band they used to be. For people mocking and getting angry with Paradise Lost, a simple look at the setlists in every concert of theirs the last few years will prove that the band cannot surpass the one hour and a quarter limit in their concerts. Their energy is somehow limited and everyone knows that.
However, yesterday was a magnificent night. The band did well performing each song and tried their best. What was unbearable for yesterday’s concert was the venue. In concerts like these, with a large crowd, Stage Volume 1 is just not the right venue. We couldn’t even fit in the area and the heat was devilish. The sound wasn’t the ideal too. The fans actually suffered, trying to cool themselves and get some space in the venue.
The next time Paradise Lost will visit our country will be with a new record and a bunch of new songs for us. I really hope the band will be able to perform for a long period once again, but I can’t say I am disappointed by a strong appearance and a lovely mood.
Report: Kostas Tsotsanis
Photos: Andreas Denwar