A live album? Album of the week? Surely not! Live albums generally suck harder than a prostitute vacuum cleaner…. Unleashed In The East, Live After Death & No Sleep ’til Hammersmith withstanding of course.
Well, Paradise Lost – UK bastions of death/doom and inventors of gothic metal – have gone big on Symphony For The Lost, recording their live album in a Roman amphitheater and with an orchestra and a choir to boot! Recorded with the Plovdiv Philharmonic orchestra at the Theatre of Phillippopolis in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Paradise Lost’s DVD/2CD is a wide ranging collection of flawlessly delivered songs well suited to the addition of classical arrangements and rates high on the quality live album scale.
Drawing from their genre defining past as well as casting a cursory glance to their recent return to form with this year’s The Plague Within, the dramatic compositions of Nick Holmes et all unsurprisingly suit the grandeur of a live choir and orchestra; the extra element adding meat to their already well rounded bones. The atmosphere is tangible as Paradise Lost blast through the likes of the classic “Gothic”, Draconian Times’ “The Last Time” and In Requiem‘s “The Enemy”, which proves particularly immersive, this quality latter-day track transformed into a shiver-inducing world beater.
“Hallowed Land” and anything from their Lost Paradise debut are notable admissions but these are but minor gripes. With a back catalogue as varied and expansive as theirs you can forgive Paradise Lost for favouring those tracks ideally suited to a choral/orchestral background and their track listing choices are pretty hard to criticise. Only Isolate feels forced with an underwhelming rendition that harms the otherwise meticulous momentum.
One of those where you wish you’d been there….Symphony For The Lost is the next best thing. This band has had a very good year. 8/10