Paradise Lost at Islington Academy

Paradise Lost produce a fairly unique type of gothic metal. It’s heavy but also tuneful and richly atmospheric. I had expected their stage appearance to reflect this dark, gothic atmosphere, but unfortunately it didn’t. They were very competent and professional, but it just felt like they were just some blokes onstage having a laugh. Why didn’t they dress up a bit? Why didn’t they have some projections? Where was the moody lighting? The dry ice? The strobes? There was very little atmosphere at all.

Their music makes much use of keyboards, in particular piano, choir and string parts which could easily have been played live onstage, but they didn’t have a keyboard player at all. Why? They also have female backing vocals in some places, so they could have had a PVC-clad gothic babe dancing onstage, stepping in with the singing where needed, but they didn’t. Why? All the keyboard parts and backing vocals were played off a tape, which was unimpressive and a big missed opportunity.

Also, they only played one of their songs which I like and am particularly familiar with. So, basically, it was ‘good’, but really not all that interesting or memorable. Still, they were better than the support band (‘Novembre’, I think), who were great musicians but whose songs were staggeringly dull.