Forging Sympathy with PARADISE LOST

09 December 2023
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PARADISE LOST
Velian

Joy Station, 7.12.2023
 
words by: Nikola Shahpazov, photo: Elena Nenkova
 
In this live report, I will repeatedly talk about history. It is inevitable. 

I’ll start with the note that with the sold-out concert on December 7th, we celebrated the 17th anniversary of radio TANGRA MEGA ROCK (long may it live!).

And continue with inevitable reflections on the immense significance and exceptional influence of an album like 'Icon,' released on September 28, 1993. 

When it comes to such an anniversary, everyone has their memories and stories. Here's mine. 
 


I can't swear it happened exactly in 1993, but undoubtedly, it is situated somewhere around the album's release.

My first encounter with 'Icon' (and with PARADISE LOST as a whole) was thanks to the promo video for 'True Belief.' Apart from the incredible music and lyrics, I was amazed by the scenes of British metalheads, hands clasped on a fence in front of the stage, climbing that same fence only to be charged by security guards with batons (!) on the other side.

I said to myself, "What is this band that drives fans crazy in this way?"

What followed was the standard search for pirated cassettes and listening to the album millions of times on the obligatory Aiwa Walkman of the time. 

Three decades later, there were no high fences in front of the PARADISE LOST stage, no security guards with batons, but everything else that made all of us irreversibly fall in love with this band was there — unadulterated, almost youthful excitement, and great, great music. 

VELIAN had the challenging task of opening this important concert. However, it wasn't their first time playing in front of a large audience; they are well-played and presented their short set with the absolute confidence of a band that knows what it's doing and can easily impress. Moreover, their gothic/doom (with death metal influences) fit perfectly with the event.
 

 
Frontman Ivan Ivanov didn't miss the chance to share the story of his first encounter with 'Icon' (I told you – it's inevitable!), and VELIAN tracks like 'Funeral' and 'Maiden of Stone' leave no doubt about the influence that the Halifax classics have on their music.

PARADISE LOST is one of the bands I've seen most often live (here and elsewhere), and although I get excited every time about the upcoming encounter with them, I've learned to exercise some caution. Because despite their remarkable discography and a truly long musical history, they are by no means perfect concert machines. 

Perhaps that's precisely why I need to emphasize how good their concert in Sofia was, marking 30 years since the release of the iconic 'Icon.'

Whether because they realized the special significance of such an anniversary or because they had recently played all the songs intensively due to re-recording the album, PARADISE LOST were tighter and more precise than usual. 

What’s even better is that many of these songs had not been played live since as far back as 1994, and 'Weeping Words,' 'Poison,' and the formidable 'Christendom' were heard on stage for only the third (!) time, right here in Sofia. 
 

Aside from the obligatory 'Embers Fire' and 'True Belief,' we were ecstatic to sing 'Forging Sympathy' (Preaching the words of angels to a darker side of man!), 'Widow,' and the colossal 'Colossal Rains' together with NICK HOLMES.

I think the band deserves additional admiration for playing 'Pity the Sadness' instead of 'One Second' and 'Say Just Words,' giving the concert evening an additional old-school touch. 

And, once again, we were convinced that PARADISE LOST are not just a part of history, they create history. We're glad that we, too, are a small part of it.
 
Setlist VELIAN:

Fireflies 
Spectacle of Tragedy 
Funeral 
Waiting in Silence 
For Eternity 
Maiden of Stone 
Sin Eater 
Godless

Setlist PARADISE LOST:

Deus Misereatur
Embers Fire
Remembrance
Forging Sympathy
Joys of the Emptiness
Dying Freedom
Widow
Colossal Rains
Weeping Words
Poison
True Belief
Shallow Seasons
Christendom 
Sweetness
Pity the Sadness
No Hope in Sight
Ghosts
Source: RadioTangra.com

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