Having just come from a tour of Australia in December 2017, Gothic metal band Paradise Lost have now returned home to British shores in order to kick-start the 2018 UK leg of their European tour supporting Medusa, the band’s 15th album since forming in 1988, which shows them taking on a much more thunderous doom metal stance since their previous days firmly rooted in Gothic metal.

Not content with having just launched their fifteenth full-length, they are also celebrating thirty years since their inception, and will be marking this even more impressive milestone with a re-release of their acclaimed seventh studio album Host on March 16th. Originally released in 1999, Paradise Lost welcome this landmark age with a digi-pack CD, and not 1 but 3 vinyl pressings to mark the album’s first time on vinyl.

With this re-release on the agenda and still touring for their latest album, they are taking on the UK for the next leg of their tour and to show my respects to this truly arresting band, I caught up with them at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth – one of my all-time favourite venues. Taking my place at the back of the half-filled venue, I sit down to observe the unfolding scene as first support band King Goat came on stage. This male-fronted doom metal band wears hoods and costumes, almost as though paying an homage to Ghost with their own take on the unsung hero of metal genres. They are fairly good in my opinion, serenading the audience with their tracks, the room half-empty yet full of smoke machine fumes; their vocals smacking of Battle Beast talent Noora Luohimo. They are entertaining, but by no means enthralling; and even with earplugs, the bass overwhelms their little foamy bodies with ease and fills my ribcage.

Next band up are Outshine who spring onto stage, and already seem to have much more presence than the former support act, erring more on the Gothic metal side of the spectrum like The Mission. This band are a lot more animated, the music almost hypnotic to listen to and the vocals from the singer are simply top-notch; the whole band on form and beginning to engage the growing crowd.

With both support acts finished, it is time for Paradise Lost to take to the stage. I had been given the opportunity to take pictures of the band for the first three songs, so managed to enjoy the show up close and personal as they belted their way through “From The Gallows”, “Tragic Idol” and “One Second”. The venue has filled up a lot more now the main act are on the boards, however it’s still not packed – which is unusual for a big name at The Wedge. They are incredible live, however, oozing power and atmosphere just like they are able to convey in their latest studio album. They are able to carry off doom metal effortlessly, Nick Holmes’ lead vocals captivating and also euphoric to bear witness to. Even though the vocals mainly consist of growling lyrics, Holmes is able to execute them with utmost ease even though he was not growling in his vocals for a number of years until he joined previous band Bloodbath – unlike some bands I listen to these days in which the growls often sound painful.

It has been 12 years since Paradise Lost last visited this venue, and they seem rightfully happy to play back here again, also including a track from Icon to keep the crowd enthralled; Nick Holmes is charismatic in his addressing of the audience, but certainly prefers to get on rather than interacting too much. All in all, Paradise Lost are a very entertaining band to watch live, and the support acts are good – however Outshine fundamentally outshone King Goat.

Paradise Lost’s set list:

01. From The Gallows
02. Tragic Idol
03. One Second
04. Gods of Ancient
05. Erased
06. Enchantment
07. Medusa
08. An Eternity of Lies
09. Faith Divides us
10. Blood and Chaos
11. As I Die
12. Beneath Broken Earth
Encore:
13. No Hope in Sight
14. The Longest Winter
15. Say Just Words

Check out the band’s video for their single “Blood And Chaos” here.