Even the sky was grey in Athens on April 17 creating the perfect mood for the grey notes so yes, when Paradise Lost come to town you can’t miss it. So, the band played and they offered a great performance (yes, for once more it was too short). The opening act was ideal too, Fragment Soul, a new promising band with a great debut album.
“I see the place that you call a haven…”
I approached the club under a drizzle and I saw the dressed in black mob forming a long queue out of Fuzz Club beyond the block, something that brought memories from the past when metalheads were waiting patiently hours before the doors open. We got inside before the clock stroke 20:00, we took a look at the merchandise and rushed to grab a good spot because it was obvious that the club would be packed after a while (for many it was the first gig after two years).
Fragment Soul was a great choice for an opening act, a new Greek band that released the debut album “Axiom of Choice” in 2021, one of last year’s best albums. Opening for Paradise Lost on your first gig is quite impressive and the band from Corfu didn’t miss the chance. For 35 minutes they spread their atmospheric mournful music playing almost the entire album (three out of the four tracks of it) and they managed to impress those who were already familiar with their work, but most probably didn’t interest the rest (considering the majority in the club didn’t stop talking throughout their set). The band was great on stage, the vocals from the two singers (male / female) were ideal, but the music of Fragment Soul (which is actually a blend of melodic prog with doom) requires a different approach due to the length of their compositions (all of them are over 11 minutes) that follow a difficult slow tempo with many melodic patterns and the non-stop muttering from the audience was spoiling the atmosphere. For me it was a great performance although I wish they had some extra time for that unreleased track they announced but they finally didn’t play it for us. At least they got a warm applause by everyone in the club.
video FRAGMENT SOUL:
a soul inhabiting two bodies / a choice between two evils / every heart sings a song
“Don’t run away from the pain…”
Right at 21.30 it was the time to see the kings of melancholy! Indeed, we may have see them numerous times in Greece but the continuous postponements of this event (originally on December 2020, then in 2021) made the fans wanting to see Paradise Lost with anticipation and they packed Fuzz club.
When you start your set with “Embers Fire” you know that you have immediately won your audience, although in the first tracks I felt that there was a numbness above and below the stage. With atmospheric lighting (a disaster for photographers but so suited to the British style), with good sound and tracks from their entire discography, the atmosphere quickly warmed up and it is true that the British have so many great songs[Ma1] to choose from that even when they show that they play out of obligation at idle will win you over again. The new tunes sound even nicer live but of course, it is these dishonorable dives in the past that cause excitement and take us back to the 90s when we saw them at the legendary Rodon club. Holmes has long since ceased to be imposing and at times you feel like he’s doing chores despite being communicative and making jokes (“I brought my Bermuda shorts and the weather reminds me of home!”), While showing that he is afraid to push his voice too much (in the studio everything is easier) but the others seemed to have fun, which is necessary to make the corresponding gel in the audience. The sound was good almost everywhere inside the venue (except for the first tracks), which helped us enjoy the concert even more, the only thing to moan about was the songs that were left out (we have accepted the short total duration and I do not think it is going to never change but it is a pity with such a big discography), a whining that does not matter since we will be there next time. Long live the shadow kings!
Embers Fire / Forsaken / Blood and Chaos / Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us / Eternal / Οne Second / Serenity / The Enemy / As I Die / The Devil Embraced / The Last Time / An Eternity of Lies / Say Just Words / No Hope in Sight / Darker Thoughts / So Much is Lost / Ghost
® report//video: Konstantinos Mindcrimek Vlachos
Photos: Afroditi Zagana