Album Review: Paradise Lost – At the Mill (Live) (Nuclear Blast)

33 years after their inception, England’s Paradise Lost are not only one of the most influential metal bands in the world and founders of the gothic metal genre, but also among the most varied acts. From death and doom to catchy synth pop hymns, the quintet from Yorkshire never hesitated to cross boundaries and yet always stayed true to themselves.

Following their first UK top 40 since the 90s, with their latest chef-d’oeuvre ‘Obsidian’, the band now unveils a live album consisting of 16 tracks that cover nearly every style and big hit from their 3-decade-long career.

Captured at The Mill Nightclub, Bradford, near the band’s hometown in Yorkshire, England, the recording of the BluRay was directed by Ash Pears, who previously worked with the band on their music videos for ‘Medusa’ and ‘Obsidian’. Mixed by Les Smith and mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano, the audio version of the show will be available as vinyl and CD. ‘At The Mill’ is released 16th July via Nuclear Blast.

Have you ever seen Paradise Lost live? I have and they’re awesome. No matter if they’re focusing on the heavier side of their music or the more accessible side. Paradise Lost always entertain and part of that comes from their willingness to challenge themselves. It hasn’t always worked but regardless, it has always won them new fans. Hell, their latest effort – the excellent Obsidian – showed that the band was still going as strong as ever.

Of course, this live album features several tracks from that album and all of them brilliant. Fall from Grace, Ghosts and Darker Thoughts. Spread throughout the album, these new tracks fit so well amongst the legendary band’s back catalogue.

Which brings us to the wander through the many different faces of Paradise Lost. There’s something for everyone here, the band taking us back to their early years with 1991’s Gothic for a run-through of the title track. As well as offering up tracks from 1993’s Icon, where the band took their first steps out of the gothic metal genre, they had been lumped in. Widow and Embers Fire are the two tracks from that album and sound as fresh today as they did back then.

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Sticking with 1993, it’s really cool to see to the band draw from their As I Die EP for an airing of the title track. Then, the band’s blend of gothic rock and traditional heavy metal saw their 1995 album, Draconian Times reach iconic status so it’s a bit of a surprise to just see one track from that album here. It is a quality one though as Paradise Lost play a blistering version of Shadowkings for grateful ears.

1997’s One Second really annoyed a lot of fans back then but has since been acknowledged as a Paradise Lost classic. The switch to a more electronic and effects driven band was risky and polarising but the sales of said album should tell you all you need to know. Here we get the title track, which sounds so sinister while being so damn catchy. Whereas 1999’s even more controversial album, Host has So Much Is Lost get an airing.

The harsher sound of 2007’s In Requiem is a high point as The Enemy and Requiem are the featured tracks here. Both still capable of putting a big smile on the face of those who love the gothic doomsters.

It’s just one track from the 2009 album, Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us but it just so happens to be the excellent title track. Before 2015’s stunning The Plague Within Album sees No Hope in Sight and Beneath Broken Earth showcased, Two of my favourite Paradise Lost tracks off of my favourite Paradise Lost album. The last album to feature tracks is 2017’s Medusa and it’s Blood and Chaos.

This really is a live album that can also be called a Paradise Lost best of. The albums that they don’t feature tend to be either the fans most disliked or the bands. Instead, the focus is on everything great about Paradise Lost while also showcasing the many different faces they have worn over the years.

The track listing can’t be faulted. The sound can’t be faulted as it has that live feel but with top drawer production and the band’s abilities on these songs can be faulted. So, what can? Simple, the lack of crowd noise. Which is in no way the actual fault of the band. Such is the times we live in.

At the Mill (Live) isn’t just for the fans. This could be the perfect entry point for those who have been meaning to, but got put off by the sheer number of releases and wide array of styles of Paradise Lost. No more, here it all is (mostly) in condensed form. A must listen.

Paradise Lost – At the Mill (Live) Full Track Listing:

1. Widow
2. Fall From Grace
3. Blood and Chaos
4. Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
5. Gothic
6. Shadowkings
7. One Second
8. Ghosts
9. The Enemy
10. As I Die
11. Requiem
12. No Hope In Sight
13. Embers Fire
14. Beneath Broken Earth
15. So Much Is Lost
16. Darker Thoughts




Links

Website | Bandcamp | Nuclear Blast

Paradise Lost – At the Mill (Live) (Nuclear Blast)
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