It would seem that the classic old adage that great things come in three’s is incredibly apparent. As we begin to move into Autumn venues are once again beginning to be filled up after the sonic drought that was August. With one of the best line ups this month we saw English doom mongers Paradise Lost bring the moping tonight. Though before we can get onto our main act there is the small act of the incredible support presented tonight.
October 4th 2015
London, Camden Town
Support Bands: Lucifer, Tribulation
Starting thing’s off thankfully for once at the respectable time of seven o’ clock we see Lucifer take the stage. The first in the diverse melancholic offerings of tonight, working well in the environment the slowly filling Koko needs it’s cob webs shaken off. The band happily oblige with their seventies style of Metal creeping in with the likes of opener “Anubis”, though the band might not be the biggest yet tonight see’s the band deliver an interesting mix that strangely enough suits the mood perfectly and act as the perfect warm up. A fantastic initiation into the dark arts of Doom.
Previously witnessing their blinding performance at this year’s Incineration Fest we return once again to the dark corners of the world for the more macabre of performance’s as the ominous organs signal our move into the “Strange Gateways Beckon“. With that the dour cloak of Tribulation is lifted seeing guitarists Adam Zaars and Jonathan Hulten shed their timid skin and become vampiric string masters, each flanking their ghoulish leader and bassist Johannes Andersson creating a nice contrast from the contorting guitarists, becoming both physical and metaphorical pillar of Tribulation as they move into “Melancholia“.
Though the band’s new album easily being one of their strongest to date the crowd seem to not quite take to the band at first. Reticent to be seen to be enjoying themselves it seems… Nevertheless Tribulation keep the moping(syn) topped up along with a suitably Joy Division sounding “The Motherhood Of God”. Aside from their absolutely stellar material it’s easy to be distracted by the band simply by their stage presence alone. Not unttering a single word the band create an imposing mastery, confident yet not cocky the band know exactly where to be.
Finishing off with a fantastic rendition of “When The Sky Is Black With Devils” the band are an inspired idea for support. Contrasting to the slower moods that Paradise Lost conjure up Tribulation’s energy is bountiful, making for a lasting impression that will no doubt have punters reveling until their next performance, truly a malevolent force to be reckoned with.
The stage darkens for tonight’s grand finale, releasing their brand new album The Plague Within, Paradise Lost are most certainly back. After his stint with Bloodbath, Nick the bellringer Holmes appears to have brought back with him the bark that was first moulded in the era of Gothic. Beginning the set with the positive “No Hope In Sight” the band begin their trudging tones with guitarist Greg Mackintosh leading the charge, slowly becoming more bleak by the second the doom laden riffing works beautifully with the band retaining a crystal clear sound ensuring that those weeping melodies shine through.
One of the key ingredients in tonight’s stripped back set is song writing. Songs simply speak for themselves, with no gimmicks to hide behind Paradise Lost are a fairly simple affair tonight, reminiscing with the likes of “Gothic” and “Widow” though yet another highlight is new track “Victim Of The Past” complete wth swelling violins the track is all the more haunting in a live setting with Holmes’ vocals meandering their maudlin way into people’s very souls contrasted with the smack down vocals along with the dutifully heavy drumming from Adrian Erlandsson. With a particualrly poingant “As I Die” seeing more than just crowd participation the band take their false leave.
Returning for the final act of tonight’s theatrical performance the imposing horns of “Return To The Sun” temporarily render the Koko immobile as we witness the resplendent majesty of just why our Doom mongers are still at the pinnacle of the miserable mountain. The tongue twister of “Faith Unites Us – Death Divides Us” is no match for grand finale of “Just Say Words” the track everyone has been waiting for, hearing the Koko become one as chants bring this solemn sermon to a triumphant close. Having just celebrated their twenty fifth anniversary as a band it would be easy to think that Paradise Lost might be coasting through their career yet with a release like The Plague Within evidence points to anything but. Performing material tonight old and new with a sense of austere authority the band have commanded Koko once more proving that they are and always will be leaders of the Doom scene.