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on 6 June 2008
I came to this live DVD box set being pretty sceptical. Why? Well, I am huge fan of Paradise Lost, and I was at the gig in question, and it was brilliant - one of their best.

The problem with live DVD's is that they seldom capture the electric atmosphere. How many times have you seen a live show on TV (like a festival, or a Wembley performance) and just thought "what is all the fuss about?"

Well, that's because most performances on television do not capture the atmosphere, or the hundreds of strained voices singing along, or the feel of the bass line passing through your chest, or ground shaking as people stomp their feet for just one more encore...

Not so with this DVD. This is AMAZING, and raises the bar of every live DVD put out by every band for the rest of time.

DVD 1 is the concert itself. Covering 20 years of material, the quality is excellent, and the production fantastic. The set list has all the old favourites in there, plus alot of new material. The band play like men possessed and bring new inflections to some older material that may not have worked too well in the studio albums.

If you have never heard of Paradise Lost before, or are not sure what all the fuss is about, then this will convert you. They come on like a cross between Metallica (circa the ever-popular Black or Load), Sisters of Mercy, a bit of The Cult, shades of early Garbage, and healthy serving of Depeche Mode (during their guitar "Ultra" era). The atmosphere is dark, yet relaxed, and Nick Holmes (vocals) interacts well with the crowd.

DVD 2 is the extras, and includes interviews with the band both directly after the gig, and later on tour. These are brilliant, and show 5 friends (4 yorkshiremen and a yank) that do little else other than enjoy their work and take the mickey out of each other. There are also snippets with the road crew, and this gives some idea of the high level of complexity that goes into managing a band on tour. There are also interviews with fans, and promo vids for "The Enemy" and "Praise Lamented Shade", as well as a trailer of the awesome documentary.

Finally, there are the CD's which are audio recordings of the live show. These are best described as being simply flawless.

So where does this stand? Well the production is top notch, the set list moves effortlessly between older and newer material, and changes pace between the rockier and quieter numbers flawlessly. The band work together just brilliantly, and the crowd respond in kind.

This is just perfect. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.
Go and buy it now. Go on, off you go. You know you should.
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on 29 August 2008
Nick Holmes & Grag Mackintosh Linernotes (from the booklet):

The Enemy (from the album In Requiem, 2007)
Nick: This song was written with a live performance in mind, we also shot a video in the Ukraine for this track. Despite its grim subject, I can't remember the last time I had so much fun at a video shoot, watching the other guys getting shot was really funny.

Grey (from the album Paradise Lost, 2005)
Nick: If silence was a colour I guess it would be grey, but then there was the dilemma how to spell it, American or English... the agony of choise.

Erased (from the album Symbol of Life, 2002)
Nick: We recorded the video for this song in an unfinished underground shopping mall in sub zero temperatures, not plesant!
Lee Dorrian did a cameo appearance on the chorus of this song, purely 'cause Cathedral were in the studio at the same time by coincidence.

Red Shift (from the album Paradise Lost, 2005)
Nick: Redshift is defined as occurring when the electromagnetic radiation, usually visible light, that is emitted from or reflected off an object is shifted towards the (less energetic) red and of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Surprisingly however, this song title was inspired by a shop in Bradford that took an eternity to fix amplifiers.

So Much is Lost (from the album Host, 1999)
Greg: We had a blast recording this album. We hired out a huge stately home owned by the actress Jane Seymour and built our own studio inside. Then we just spent 2 months experimenting.

Sweetness (from the single Seals the Sense, 1994)
Greg: This was a very unexpected cult B-side. I remember writting this song sitting backstage somewhere in Germany whilst supporting Sepultura on their Chaos AD tour.

Praise Lamented Shade (from the album In Requiem, 2007)
Nick: During recording the tuning of this song was changed to make it stand out more, as it sounded way too light in it's original "C" tuning.

Pity the Sadness (from the album, Shades Of God, 1992)
Nick: In the video for this song Matt, our drummer at the time, nearly lapsed into a diabetic coma as he played for 7 hours non stop! The title of this song later turned into a catch phrase used by Lee Dorrian to take the piss out of me.

Forever Failure (from the album Draconian Times, 1995)
Greg: Features a sample of the last televised interview with Charles Manson. He says "I don't know what sorry means" although it would have been more apt if he'd said "I don't know why I'm in this song". We had to pay the families of his victims in order to use the sample.

Once Solemn (from the album Draconian Times, 1995)
Greg: We wrote this song without a drummer. We were auditioning drummers while it was being written and asked prospective drummers to drum to the song as a way of narrowing down our choice.

As I Die (from the album Shades Of God, 1992)
Greg: This is probably one of our best known tracks. Interestingly it wasn't on the original pressing of our Shades of God album because some people thought it didn't fit.

Embers Fire (from the album Icon, 1993)
Greg: We recorded this album near Farnham, Surrey. We spent most of the time drinking in a pub called the William Cobbit.

Mouth (from the album Believe in Nothing, 2001)
Greg: The video for this song was filmed in Austria. There is a moment in the video when a box opens and Nick's head is insade. This had to be filmed many times and the rest of the band had to leave the studio because we couldn't stop laughing.

No Celebration (from the album Symbol of Life, 2002)
Nick: I was originally thinking of it as a kind of anti-Christmas song as I'm against all the horrible commercialism that surrounds X-mas. However, I'm also a tight Yorksireman, so I guess that help fuels my dislike for the festive season.

Enternal (from the album Gothic, 1991)
Greg: The band used to rehearse in a lock up garage at a place called Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire which is where this song was written. There was a filthy old sofa that had been in the room for years and when we went gigging we used to put this sofa on top of our equipment in the back of a van and sleep on it.

True Belief (from the album Icon, 1993)
Greg: This track is more memorable for it's video than anything else. It was recorded on our first trip to Estonia. The crowd was fantastic but the security was brutal and some of this was captured in the video.

One Second (from the album One Second, 1997)
Nick: One of our most recognisable songs, even though musically it rarely changes guitar wise, it's the same from start to finish, one chord!

The Last Time (from the album Draconian Times, 1995)
Nick: The video we did for this song was totally diffirent to what we expected, there was a real confusion about the concept. And as to why a little girl was riding around on a bicycle is anyone's guess. Music wise, it's our best selling single, and always p popular live track.

Gothic (from the album Gothic, 1991)
Nick: We recently re-vamped this song, the strings and backing vocals. So Jeff could actually play it live. In the old days we never used click tracks, so timing was always all over the place, but that's old school death metal for you. After all these years I still Think the song stands up.

Say Just Words (from the album One Second, 1997)
Nick: An old college friend shot the video for this song at an old country manor house near our home town of Halifax. The band had to dress up as muddy zombies, luckily I didn't as they said they were still finding bits of mud in their ears days later.
The old man in this video playing a "funeral derector" died soon after shooting this, which was an odd coincidence!
We usually finish our set with this song, and old school PL fans can be seen heading for the exit after the middle!

Isolate (from the album Symbol Of Life, 1992)
[ENCoRE]

I give 5 stars this DVD
Video & Audio 5.1 - Excellent!
I recommend it, for all Gothic-Doom Metal fans!!! PL fans - MUST BUY! This is very cool DVD!!!
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