Music for Nations
2/2/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Spans ALL of the band's catalogue
Finally, I got a chance to review this DVD from England's Paradise Lost, a band that have seen their share of changes. "Evolve" is certainly a good word to associate with this band. Paradise Lost were one of the early doom-death bands, with their first two albums making huge waves in the early 90s, when bands like Amorphis, My Dying Bride, and Celestial Season were just coming into their own and helping to establish a genre that has slowly bled into other markets.
"Evolve" is the first DVD from Paradise Lost, and one that is really spectacular when looked at in all it's glory. For fans unfamiliar with the band's material, Paradise Lost really are three different bands. Their early material was deeply rooted in death metal, before breaking from that pattern with "Shades Of God" in 2002. At that time the group found themselves treading in unexplored waters, with the band taking Metallica styled thrash and mixing in an incredible, diverse sound that mixes in doom, power, and gothic influences. With "Icon" (1993) and "Draconian Times" (1995), the band created a whole new version of British heavy metal. In much the same way as Judas Priest and Black Sabbath put England on the metal map two decades earlier, Paradise Lost were turning heads with their new vision of doomy thrash. Just when things were looking up for English fans, vocalist Nich Holmes and company changed directions, going from heavy, metallic monsters to gothic pop. With 1997's "One Second", Paradise Lost completely crushed the dreams and aspirations of metal fans worldwide. The band decided they weren't a heavy metal band and wanted to just play modern rock, rubbing salt in the wounds by adding sampling and more commercial keyboards to the band's mix. The group continued their downward spiral with three more records of unintelligent, lack luster pop rock, bringing us to present day.
The really cool thing about this DVD collection is the fact that it spans ALL of the band's catalogue. Fans get treated with tons of material on this film, from concert footage to promo videos, the band really go out of their way to offer all of their fans something enjoyable from all three of the band's musical directions. Harmony Breaks-Live At The Longhorn starts things off, as this is a live concert from 1993, when the group really started to get focused. This gig features seven live cuts before moving into a promo video section. The promo videos offered from this era are "As I Die", "Pity The Sadness", "True Belief", "Embers Fire", and "Widow".
One Second Live is a live concert from 1998, and features 18 live cuts from the band's entire discography. The guys sound great on film, but the look is something I couldn't tolerate. Nick Holmes and company really look like Blink 182, and you can clearly tell from Holmes facial expressions and lack of energy that the band really don't like playing the old stuff any longer. Their hearts really aren't in it anymore. And I'm perfectly fine with that, but it you are going to play heavy metal songs to a heavy metal audience that still enjoys your work, then you should display a certain amount of energy. More promo videos follow this, with vids of "The Last Time", "Forever Failure", "Say Just Words", and "One Second". There is also a home movies section for those wanting to get a little further than live footage.
This is great for anyone who have enjoyed Paradise Lost through the ups and downs. I loved the band's earlier material, and I really enjoyed seeing promo videos and live footage from that particular era. I could have done without the new stuff, but that is a small price to pay. "Evolve" maintains the quality throughout, and offers many different features for fans to enjoy the music of Paradise Lost. For fans old and new, pick this up!
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