Not content with releasing one of the finest albums of the year; Paradise Lost are closing the year with another release in ‘Symphony For The Lost’. This is not your typical live release by any means. Filmed and recorded at a one-off show at the Ancient Roman Theatreof Philippopolis in Plovdiv, Bulgaria… yes, an actual solid rock Roman amphitheatre! Backed by the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by long-time metal collaborator Levon Manukyan; Paradise Lost play a live show with full orchestration, and it’s all wrapped up nicely here on CD and DVD.
Now, the metal/rock show combined with an orchestra has been done before. Everyone knows that! It’s not very often that a band actually suited to do this sort of thing takes it on, though. Metallica just about got away with it, Kiss didn’t and Paradise Lost completely nail it.
As you will hear in the accompanying mini documentary that comes with the DVD; Paradise Lost utilise plenty of orchestration in their music to start with, so this set-up really just emphasizes that. It’s very much a Paradise Lost show with orchestral embellishment rather than a crazy new sound for the band.
Paradise Lost tracks are generally steeped in eerie atmosphere and epic sounds; so here that is all ramped up to the maximum.
Opening up with a typically Yorkshire “How ya Doin?” Nick Holmes and comrades take it all in their stride. The imposing structure of the Roman stage is all the stage props you need to make this a visually impressive show and couple that with an unusually well-lit band and this looks like the ‘dogs’.
Only half of the show is recorded with the orchestra which means that Paradise Lost don’t over-egg the pudding here. The opening duo of ‘Tragic Idol’ and ‘Last Regret’ are a powerful intro and it’s a nice round set that leads to the first set closer of ‘Gothic’ which sounds sublime in this environment.
Now, we said something about not over-egging the pudding. The second set is without the classsical input. And it’s even better. That may make it sound like the first set was a waste of time (far from it), but seeing Paradise Lost go for it in this big old rock amphitheatre is just great. Songs like ‘Erased’ sound monstrous; you can hear the harshness of the environment in the low end. It rumbles like a Lancaster bomber. Or maybe a Yorkshire bomber…
Songs like ‘One Second’ are spine tingling enough, but here they sound simply epic.
This is not your average afterthought of a live album. ‘Symphony For The Lost’ is a deluxe live show in many ways and crowns another fabulous year for Paradise Lost.