I must admit that I really like the Record Store Day releases. These days we have enjoyed many great releases, mainly on vinyl, which can contain everything from a reissue of a record to a special live show, demo songs or sometimes all of these together in one package.
I also do not hide my admiration for Paradise Lost, one of my favorite bands ever and quite often I don’t hesitate to ignore the whining about some of their live performances, giving them praise.
But in this case, I will have to object. This live release by the German show “Rockpalast” of the WDR channel, is supposedly not fixed in the studio regarding the overall production and mixing, recorded directly from the sources of the channel. Unfortunately, the result is bad with Holmes’ voice being the main and most obvious problem; he is constantly struggling for the biggest part of this show.
Having watched three of the band’s performances in 1996 I didn’t notice such weakness in the charismatic singer (also the whole band kicked ass), at a time when the guys from Halifax were making a great name for themselves as one of the bands that saved metal in very difficult times for it, having the greatest commercial and not only success of their careers.
This performance that took place in Cologne on August 19, 1995 and especially this release, certainly doesn’t honor the band. At least, it was necessary for a studio intervention before it hit the shelves. Too bad because the amazing setlist with tracks from “Shades Of God”, “Icon” and “Draconian Times” is really strong and this live presentation doesn’t do justice to it. I also find it hard to believe that this release was made with the band’s approval.
“Live At Rockpalast 1995” is aimed exclusively at the die-hard fans and collectors of Paradise Lost who have to invest in a white double vinyl and a poor CD and DVD package without any extra material.