PARADISE LOST + HANGMAN’S CHAIR @ Strasbourg (La Laiterie)

Scheduling a metal concert on a Monday in a provincial venue is daring. Even for such a big PARADISE LOST. To my great surprise, the Laiterie stage is in a wide configuration, with bleachers, and it is slowly filling up. It sweeps away my concern, we’re going to go up to 600 or 700 people whereas not long ago, for groups like CRADLE OF FILTH or MOONSPELL, I counted less than 200 people there.

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© Leonor Ananké | HARD FORCE

The second effect is the discovery in the first part of HANGMAN’S CHAIR. Rediscovered in reality, because about ten years ago at the opening of MASS HYSTERIA, I had found them good, but the macabre videos in the background made me feel uncomfortable. This time, in a minimalist atmosphere and gothic lights, I take a shock from the opening “An Ode To Breakdown”. It’s doom as hell. Heavy and dripping riffs, relentless rhythm and voices from beyond the grave, a perfect appetizer to prepare for the next group. “Cold & Distant” continues and sums up the atmosphere that has taken hold. It’s strong in metal texture, it’s very beautiful and engaging. HANGMAN’S CHAIR 45 minutes to deliver 8 live and gothic paintings, the main part comes from the album “A Loner” which I will get urgently tomorrow. Two titles come from “Banlieue Triste”, including “Naïve” which turns things upside down. The public is in a trance and greets the Parisians who complete us with a masterful “A Thousand Miles Away”. My favorite group of the last few days.

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© Leonor Ananké | HARD FORCE

Make way for the juggernaut of gothic metal. Do young people know how much this group is a reference and a legend? Yes, judging by the spectators, half of whom are quite young. Excellent surprise. “Enchantment” the aptly named opens the mass. Still as bewitching 30 years later, I’m in heaven. Nick Holmes has lost none of his distinctive, deep tone of voice, which sets the mood. As for Gregor Mackintosh, he looks more and more like the Kurgan warrior of Highlanderand his guitar playing is as masterful and incisive as ever.

note that PARADISE LOST consists, drums aside, of the original line-up, which is rare enough to mention given the longevity of the group. Constancy of limbs, constancy of sound. “Forsaken” follows and announces the 5 titles of the 16th and last album “Obsidian” that the group can finally defend after the Covidalypse. Power of lead riffs, sepulchral rhythm, there is continuity and fidelity in this legendary group. “Blood And Chaos” and “Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us” pour out their power, the assembly respectfully welcomes the spectacle delivered to them. “Eternal”, from the first ages, takes us to a rediscovered paradise. The execution is exemplary, all our senses are awake, Aaron Aedy makes fire riffs spring from the forges of Mordor and Greg captivates us with his brilliant solos.

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© Leonor Ananké | HARD FORCE

A few perfectly tangled classics and novelties later, it’s the legendary “As I Die”. We are in heaven, we are becoming angels. Bathed in blue light and haunting riffs, gothic metal 30 years later is still as vibrant as ever. I contemplate the deep respect in the eyes of each viewer, it warms my heart. “The Last Time” conquers hearts and minds. Where many bands have diluted their pure blood for a little… soft syrup, PARADISE LOST remains faithful to its raging riffs and Steve Edmonson’s rhythmic remains imbued with the tone of the cold-wave which preceded the Gothic style. Seeing them after all these years is like reconnecting with your first love. The ages have no hold on their music. “The Last Time” resonates like a leitmotif. “Say Just Words” is a first “goodbye”.

Reminder eagerly awaited. “Darker Thoughts” permeates us. “Embers Fire” lights up the scene and I let you imagine the pleasure that this antediluvian title gives us. And to finish ? “Ghosts” is a wonderful way to say “see you soon” with gothic musicality. PARADISE LOST defended his latest album very well, which fits perfectly into his typical style.

Said like that, you might think it was a simply good concert, but in reality it was a pilgrimage, a reminder of the excellence of this band which laid the foundations for a unique power and shadow metal. and who still knows how to execute it brilliantly today. Cheer PARADISE LOST !

Photos © Leonor Ananké – Paris, October 25, 2022

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© Leonor Ananké | HARD FORCE

Blogger: Christophe Scottez

About the author

Christopher Scottez

Chris is an ethnologist in his spare time, a veteran of joyful pogos in core jerseys. A curious explorer, a great lover of riffs and wild songs. He grew up in the glorious 80s, rocked by the canonical songs of ACCEPT, SCORPIONS, MOTLEY CRUE and other GUNS N ROSES. Traumatized by the divorce between Max Cavalera and his group, as well as by an album of the Mets a little “loaded” in anything, Chris turned his back on hard rock for 10 years. Then, one day, he accidentally discovered that a multitude of new groups had invaded the scene… these new savages offered interesting sounds, loaded with energy. Wishing to share the emotion of this style of metal without claiming to set himself up as the guardian of any dogma, he likes to talk about so-called classic metal styles, but also metalcore and neo-metal. Styles often decried for their looks of twinks, while the importance of an album is first of all the sound pleasure that one can draw from it, the difference is the richness of taste. But above all, can we make fun of flirtatious rebels while the founding fathers of metal put on candy pink leggings and pampered their peroxidized sauerkraut?

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