PARADISE LOST – Edwards, Birmingham – live review by PAUL REES

MUSIC, LIKE all art, is governed by subjective opinion. Critics, punters and creators will participate in heated debates about good and bad without disturbing the framework of choice.

It is the rule that explains why a crowded club rejoiced in the cacophony of Florida’s ‘peaceful punks’ Paradise Lost and I endured a painful nightmare. It is the reason why an ecstatic fan shook like epilepsy while I held my ears to the Death Metal bomb blast. You pays yer money…

Yes, Paradise Lost went down well, but for a connoisseur of melody, dynamics and atmosphere they were a blackened vision of Dante’s inferno. There is no structure and consequently the essential dramatics, the light and shade, are blindly forsaken. Each component is a pail of the total blur.

Against this anarchic background a voice resembling the Bullfrogs’ mating call belches forth with intermittent fury. If there is any message it is incoherent: if there is any purpose it is eradicated. During a magical pause I convinced myself that I was right, then I look into smiling faces and sweaty smiles.

Long before the conclusion I have left the initiated to their alien ritual whispering, “Each to his own” like a prophet. On a lonely drive home I played ‘Fade To Black’ to the silence and the conflict began once more.

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