There is no doubt in my mind that this evening at the ancient Roman theatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria with Yorkshire’s own Paradise Lost and the local philharmonic orchestra must have been a very special one for those who had the good fortune of being present. Although they have oftentimes incorporated orchestral elements in their music, it’s the first time Nick Holmes and cohort actually play live on stage with an orchestra, so you can imagine how chuffed the genre defining band must have been.
After something many consider a bit of a dip around 1999, Paradise Lost made a strong return to form with ‘Paradise Lost’ in 2005, and the past decade has seen the band unleashing a series of great albums, recently with ‘The Plague Within’ from earlier this year. I reckon ‘Symphony for the Lost’ is Paradise Lost yet again seeking new boundaries for what they can and can’t do.
‘So, can they do this – can they really pull this one off?’ you might wonder. Yes, I’d say they can. Over the years, Paradise Lost have built a strong repertoire, a collection of great songs, and that’s really what counts, no matter how many layers of orchestra you put on top of them.
Did all Metallica songs work out perfectly on ‘S&M’? No, they didn’t. Do all PL songs work out perfectly with an orchestra? No, not necessarily. No matter, fact is that songs like Soul Courageous, Tragic Idol, Last Regret and Gothic are huge, orchestra or not. The philharmonic orchestra are in my view just topping, an extra schwung.
Are there songs that definitely don’t work? Yeah, Joys of Emptiness. It sounds horrendous, but that’s due to Nick’s inability to hit the notes. That is in general a bit of a problem, but not as obvious in other songs as it is in this one. Old Nick is first and foremost as grunter, not a Ronnie James Dio.
On the second disc, Paradise Lost lose the orchestra and simply play a regular set. That’s great too. This is simply a list of strong PL songs as we know them.
‘Symphony for the Lost’ is not a new fan’s introduction to Paradise Lost. This is a curiosity for us old fans, a bit like a fun experiment with a bunch of great songs. Enjoyable indeed, but only because these are songs I love from a band I adore.
‘Symphony For The Lost’ will be available as 2CD+DVD deluxe edition with 48-page booklet and as a double LP+DVD with 16-page booklet.
Watch the trailer here:
CD One (with orchestra):
01. Tragic Idol
02. Last Regret
03. Your Own Reality
04. Over The Madness
05. Joys Of Emptiness
06. Victim Of The Past
07. Soul Courageous
CD Two (without orchestra):
01. The Enemy
04. Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us
05. As I Die
06. One Second
07. True Belief
08. Say Just Words
09. The Last Time
Playing time: 39 + 39 minutes
Release date: 20th of November, 2015
Label: Century Media