14 November 2009, Alte Feuerwache, Mannheim, Germany
Three bands had found their way to the Alte Feuerwache in Mannheim tonight and all of them would have rightly deserved to play a headline show but there can be only one. Just for this tour Paradise Lost, Samael and Ghost Brigade joined their dark forces to spread the fateful magic of gloomy metal over everyone in the club. And so it began…
Dark, cold, wet feet – there’s nothing else you need but a few „Isolation Songs“ and exactly those we get right away presented in perfection by the Finns of Ghost Brigade. The guys really hit home with the already numerous crowd tonight – just beautiful melodies, sometimes dreamy, sometimes really heavy and everything’s supported by an excellent sound. This makes everyone rotate their hair from the first second on and not only the Finnish fans, who have come here, demand more but unfortunately it’s only 30 minutes playing time. Hopefully there will be more soon!
Then time had come for Samael and everything went black (and blonde). The Swiss were a little bit the odd one out when you look at the line-up because their song material is maybe a bit too electronic, I thought. But be it as it may, the guys cranked out hard beats and even harder riffs, with it a wildly-gesticulating frontman and a pretty jolly bassist. The crowd appreciated that and applauded the musicians for their solid performance.
Not long ago I had seen Paradise Lost together with Ghost Brigade in Helsinki and that gig was simply fabulous but could the masters of goth rock repeat that stunt in Mannheim? With “Serenity” from the new album „Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us“ they started off pretty well and also stand-in guitarist Milly Evans jumping in for Greg Mackintosh who had to stay home due to family-related reasons, cut literally a fine figure. Funnily, it’s mostly the newer songs like „Erased“ off the Symbol of Life album and „The Enemy“ from In Requiem which are well-received by the crowd, maybe that’s why the setlist is rather short of old classics but „As I Die“ and „Embers Fire“ still made the cut. But what the guys failed to deliver that night was a good sound, especially in the center of the venue there’s only a bass-y mass of something and so it’s no surprise that people very soon made their way to the bar.
After the band then left the stage, the applause ceased pretty quickly and one had to wait just a tiny little bit too long for encore shouts. I was almost afraid that the guys wouldn’t be lured back to the stage because of it but, being nice English Gentlemen, people still didn’t have to wait very long and Paradise Lost finished their gig with „Faith Divides Us“, „The Last Time“ and the standard get-out-tune „Say Just Words“. With these the band saved the evening at the last second. All in all, a rather mediocre to poor gig but if it was due to the sound or the crowd who was probably getting tired after seeing three bands in a row? With over 20 years of band history you can have a blooper once in a while…
And so afterwards the crowd headed deeper into the Mannheim night and the three bands on to the next city.