Paradise Lost Tragic Illusion Tour with special guests Katatonia and Lacuna Coil

The Roundhouse, Camden

Sunday 3rd November

So when the news reached me that Paradise Lost were doing a tour to celebrate 25 years of well, I immediately jumped on getting a ticket. Then I found out that one of the special guests accompanying them was Lacuna Coil and that was it – I was certain that my future held a spot on the floor of the Roundhouse in it.

Unfortunately due to a technical hitch on the night, I wasn’t able to get any photos nor make a list of the songs played. So you’re going to have to tolerate album artwork and my memories of the most stand out songs. I promise I’ll do better next time and take back up kit with me!

The show kicked off with Katatonia, who were playing their Viva Emptiness album in it’s entirety. I’ve never listened to them – they’ve always been on my ever growing list of ‘bands I should listen to at some point’ and oh my holy joe’s have they moved off of that list and on to the ‘buy this album NOW!’ list.  Katatonia are mellow doom at it’s absolute best and the whole of their set was both chilled and heavy – rife with melodic beauty and with an enviable front line of guitar players who could simultaneously windmill in a rather disconcerting fashion. Anyway, they were sheer brilliance and a rather wonderful surprise. I shouldn’t have been surprised – any band who describes their beginning as ‘really big Paradise Lost fanboys’ are likely to be a winner, but I know better now!

Onto the almighty Lacuna Coil.

I have loved them since I first laid ears on Heaven’s A Lie way back in 2003-ish. I will admit though that I sort of got stuck listening to Karmacode and Comalies and so didn’t really keep up with anything else. This was of course very foolish of me, because actually Dark Adrenaline is a gorgeous beast of an album, and seeing tracks from it performed live was astonishing – I was especially blown away by I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow and Intoxicated. I really like this darker, heavier Lacuna Coil and I am massively excited at the prospect of a new album next year.  The balance between Cristina and Andrea is very obvious on stage and they equally share the vocal burden.  The set was fast paced and energetic – there was a lot of headbanging done. I know a lot of the time Lacuna Coil get written off as just another female-fronted gothic metal band, but I think this label really misses the hard and heavy darkness they bring to a live set. They did of course bring the older songs like Heaven’s A Lie  and I will admit to being bitterly disappointed to not get Enjoy The Silence. Still one can’t have everything and gems like Without Fear more than made up for it. Hopefully LC will do a headline tour in the UK – I WILL be going, and based on the performance on Sunday I’d more than consider a hop over to mainland Europe to see them do a longer set!

And so we come to the big finale – Paradise Lost. I saw Nick and the boys way back in 2007 when they toured with Type O Negative and was at the much maligned Birmingham show. Paradise Lost were great then and on Sunday – well, like a decent whiskey they’ve improved with age. Kicking open the show with Mortals Watch the Day, they spent just over an hour demonstrating why they are the Godfathers of Doom. These guys don’t bounce around the stage, but they do play hard – I thought Aaron was going to fall off of the stage at one point. This set was a true celebration of 25 years of musical genius and included material from older albums. Gems such as Gothic and Faith Divides Us-Death Unites Us saw play as did my personal favourite, Isolate – I’m not ashamed to admit I had a tear in my eye seeing that one live. They did of course play Never for the Damned  and the finisher of Over the Madness, another favourite track of mine had me exploding and was also the final, dramatic conclusion of the set.

PL aren’t a band that give you the witty banter and crowd pleasing chatter of a band like Turisas, but they’re a different style – they don’t need to try and engage the crowd verbally – from the first note to the last I was utterly sucked into everything they were playing and the swooping emotion of it all. Paradise Lost should be truly proud of their 25 years, of every release, and of the fantastic show they give you – these guys are all about the music and about how the music makes you feel. And I hope that someday soon I get to make it a hat trick and see them again.

3 thoughts on “Paradise Lost Tragic Illusion Tour with special guests Katatonia and Lacuna Coil”

  1. Ah, I’m envious! I’ve been fortunate enough to see all three of those bands live (weirdly enough, when I saw Paradise Lost they were opening for the Devin Townsend Project and Katatonia), but to see all three on the same night, and to see Paradise Lost play a headline set would be a dream come true. I’m still hoping that someone will bring this tour to the United States for a few dates. In the meantime, I appreciate being able to read your review and get a little taste of what I’m missing!

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