Abart Music Club - Zürich - 03.11.2003
review by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo  - pics © by Stefan "Absolut_Evidence" Vogelaar

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is strictly prohibited without written permission



A Monday in Zürich 18:00 h, traffic. a very important gig is awaiting me at the AbArt Club. Paradise Lost again, after the successfull Rock the Bock, in Zürich again. Again at the Abart like it was in march. I have a wish : to see PL at their best, in this nice venue, to see a concert that can create an atmosphere. Something to be remembered for long time. You know, for fans like me, PL are PL, and every reasoning has really not much to do with heart. But i'm also a Metal fan and anyway always appreciative for music of class, so under this point of view this concert has an importance that goes beyond the pure "attraction" towards Paradise Lost. Amorphis too together with Deathstars will hit the stage. Amorphis don't need any presentation me thinks, and Deathstars seem to be very interesting. Today is the street date of their release Synthetic Generation. An album with some shadows but also peaks of bright lights, bound with a peculiar band look: all things that impose with no doubt the important feedback coming from a live performance. So , seen objectively, it's a concert with a formula that rarely can be seen. The interview with Deathstars is planned. And indeed after a short moment of chat and drink where we begin to meet some PL lads, the interview with singer whiplasher and drummer Bone w Machine takes place. Nice guys, nice to speak with them about music and about many characteristics of their debut album. After the interview it's practically time of door opening. The atmosphere is fully relaxed, though lively, and the venue with its new set and enlarged stage, is preparing with calm and professionality, after the bands' soundcheck, the right atmosphere for a concert of class.

Steve (PL)


interview with Deathstars (will be online)


Niclas (Amorphis)


Lee  (PL)

DEATHSTARS        www.deathstars.net                 review Synthetic Generation
20:26 The venue is already really good crowded . Deathstars take the stage. Apart a different look shown by frontman Whiplasher the rest of the band is conform to the expected image and extend the line up with their bass player. After a long dark electro intro and a roar of distorced guitar sounds, they start off with New Dead Nation. The stage acting is immediately dynamic and attractive. They move like they were born with a guitar in the hand and with a natural sense of show. Tall, thin and long haired bassist and guitarists are a suitable "frame" for the mighty vocals and a bit of theatricality of the singer. Agile, banging and a bit plastic they place also a very good ability in playing and a maturity due to years of experience in more extreme environment of Death and Black underground. Still young and full of energy they are watched with lot of interest by the crowd, who gives them the first applauses. In this way is rather satisfied the "Thank you!" told by Whiplasher that also add " We are Deathstars!" with his bass fascinating round voice, going on announcing the next song that is the first of their album: Semi -automatic, is launched like an electro-metal bomb grenade. All the attack capacity of the band is appearing in its strength, while people is more and more excited. Great mobility, good technique , heaviness bound with electronic and some industrial flavous, exact drumming. The make up, which reminds just a bit the paint of the Black style is not too loud: delicate white faces and some black lips underline the undisputable darkness of their rhythmed massive music. And finally, also the musical content in itself reaches a higher niveau with the brilliant Little Angel. Little Angel is brilliant on the cd , brilliant played live. Singer's whole attitude is exalted, sense of identifying in the lyrics and that mentioned before theatricality included, while the synchronous headbanging of the band crown optically a music that has everything: melody, atmosphere and heavy pure metallic attacks. It follows Modern Death sung with emotional rasping voice. 20:46 warm applauses and some banging reward a very good gig done till now, and open the way to another super track: Syndrome. The pride of the album. Good vocal extensions and light effects red and green make this song even more sinister. Afterwards, Synthetic Generation is reverbered at its maximum. At 20:52 the show ends letting the crowd satisfied and warmed up. Fresh, energetic, modern, why not.. a bit syntethic, Deathstars have fully interpretated their musical vision, black angels of the future in a tormented world. It seems that nowadays is not easy to impress the crowd if you are not the headliner John Doe. I mean, if you are headliner you tend to be acclaimed always and everywhere, whatever you do, but if you are a new presence you have to spit blood in order to be taken in consideration. But of course these boys from Sweden have left a sign of interest and curiosity in an audience that seems very pleased to have seen them. I think it will be the same also in the sequel of the tour , and personally i'm really looking forward to their impact at Astoria London on 18th.

New dead Nation

Semi - automatic

Little Angel

Modern Death


Synthetic Generation

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AMORPHIS      www.amorphis.net            review Far from the Sun by S. Russo
21:17 After a meticolous stage setting  the first acclamations for Amorphis begin to start . Sign that they are really waited. consequently,  of course they are welcomed very warmly  when they, after a couple of minutes, take the stage  greeting "Good evening Zürich!". Very inspired, with a slight note of haughtiness singer Pasi Koskinen holds well his vocals though the best moment will come at the end of the show when  he will sing Black winter Day with a certain growling attitude. Finally,should we say. Anyway the band is delivering a nice performance: not very lively , but solide, with a technique in playing that is surely up to the task,  propelled by a punctual and stable rhythmic session. Related to this i'd like to point out the good constant support provided by bassist Niclas.Good work done by Tomi too, and in general nice string behaviour on the whole. Though i must say that keys-hammond , one of the pillar of Amorphis sound tonight, have been sometimes catapulted too much in the foreground , especially in the first part of the concert.  The best moments are when the bands proposes Against Widows and the wonderful Alone played in a way that couldn't be best frankly said. I'm a bit disappointed by  the result  obtained from Divinity, one of my fav tracks, that here is losing some "contour". Well , people, i must also say that when you are a fan of  a band and  you know by heart every chord of every album, and still not content ,  you have also seen the band live so many times (like i have done guess? for PL right!) you can in a away estimate which are the changes apported to a song performed live and you can risk doing  some  comparisons too between gigs. I don't shame at all to tell the is the first time that i finally can see Amorphis live (are they playing in Switzerland every day, maybe?)  so i can only tell you that Divinity doesn't sound like i'm usually listening to it in Tuonela: maybe  too high synth, maybe some particular arrangement, maybe the  sound that is bad mixed all together...what the hell, .. On the contrary Alone has been delivered like in a manual: almost perfect imo, underlined by a great  handclapping from the crowd. Anyway , above all considerations the audience was so really happy and satisfied to attend this gig that it seems to be slave under a spell of  magic. All in all in this concert there is a good balance between heaviness, balladesque melodies  and folk (celtic medieval) sonorities. Some instrumental loops are the hammer. The only one big ufficial personal reprimend i can and want do to Amorphis is that they have to put even more energy in their show for jaysus' sake. Amorphis are not Ajattara, but ehi much more grit , much more heaviness: style or not style move your a*s towards  more intense shores!  Howeever,  good has been Day of your Beliefs and Evil inside. Inspired frontman Pasi is very grateful to the applauses and approvals :  "you're fantastic! one (applause) for you too!" he's telling us.  "We would play more, but you know... the time runs...". He asks the audience to complete the title of Black  winter Day "i say the first word only , and then you tell the rest!"  When the concert is finished , he shakes the hand of many people of the first row but also  other members of the band are greeting this way the faithful ranks . 22:00 the encore is called ,  but, ...pity... the time runs... 


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PARADISE  LOST        www.paradiselost.co.uk          reviews Symbol of Life
 After a very attentive soundcheck and a highly careful stage setting, around 22.30 the lights fade down , the acclamation of the audience rises high . Through  the back door of the stage PL hit the stage warmly welcomed. The first is Greg and then Nick and all other lads, in a semi -darkness take their places . A red spotlight is hitting suddenly Nick . Lights are on now creating  a game of alternating soft red green white blue and yellow :  optically is an agreeable  background .  PL are relaxed but,  at the same time, well concentrated. Supported by a sincere, enthusiast, but not exaggerated "embrace" of the Abartian audience, they start off with Erased.  And one thing is certain : heaviness starts off with them, as well as the banging of many and many fans from now till the end of the show. So, are you already on the right way to understand which will be the main characteristic of this gig? heavyness ? oh yes, or better said much more..but let's wait still a moment before i tell you the keyword that summarizes everything, imo. Where are we? ah Erased: great guitar and bass work , Nick's voice IS low, nevertheless you can hear it anyway, appreciating so much that it is agreeable, every note is sung well, with the right determination and attention and, if i am allowed to tell , even credibility: in one word it seems to me  that  Nick is believing and not in nothing . Believing in the songs, in the band, in the crowd, in the Swiss beer (to which he dedicates a short joke) , in himself, whatever, who cares? Fact is that he seems much more serene, and, as long as  he can be, even a bit good mooded. Erased has opened the dance of the many applauses and acclamations we will see, and  it is followed by  a "thank you " by Nick who asks then "How are you tonight? "    -Fiiine!!!!!!-    "we're fine also!" adds Nick laconic but benevolent, and announces Widow.  A couple of a bit ironic words apart ,  Nick goes straight to the point, like it seems to be the trend, after  all this is much better for every  concert: music as protagonist! Widow sees powerful drums, excellent guitar, and, like mentioned before,  agreeable vocals . The picture is taking shape. From the aggressive and hammering rhythmic section , from the refined , resolute and breathtaking typical Paradise Lost-ian Greg's guitar , from the  energetic  bass and the always propulsive drums come out all the ingredients for a...yes  for a Metal concert. Heavy like hell, hammering and crunchy, PL are making the crowd enjoy every biting compression. Melodies and ethereal atmospheres base themselves on massive  metal feet. The crowd itself, though a bit gothic, has much of the  Death mentality: this is why songs  like Shadowkings Symbol of Life Mouth and cult As I die are awaited like water in the desert. It's now time for Behind  the Grey, and though now a walk into  Host could be a real problem , even this song is performed heavy like hell without sacrificing its emotionality. Greg and Aaron are banging underlining the rhythm , the music and the lyrics. How many times i will see them again sing some words like it would be their last words in life. And while the rhythmic is providing the iron skeleton, Greg, in one of the best shape i ever seen him, is balancing harmony, solos, virtuosisms and heavy rhythm , high tuning , down tuning, accompanying the melodies, giving strength to the riffage. The sound coming from Greg's guitar was a bit high a bit penetrating  till now but from No celebration the calibration is perfect , sound is optimal. I can tell it , becaus, what a damn, i was practically "over" Greg's speaker. so you can imagine what a kind of sound i would have heard if it would have not been super modulated and set  like it is indeed ? No celebration is intense with weeping guitars and great bass net. Shadowkings pushes it all till the bones, Nick's voice seems to come from another dimension, and the audience can bang and clap hands under the approval and incitement of Nick (but there is no need!) "c'mon!" he says. Lots of hands rased high . A drop of Swiss beer and we go on with Symbol of Life ,  played with every characteristics in its right place , pulsing drums, pressing rhythm, typical final heavy riffing (like not done at the Rock the Bock) fading away  into a slowier outro. Electro intro for So much is lost that anyway lets soon free way to the hard guitars, which will be the rulers of Mouth. Mouth is recognized , focuzed, understood, and welcomed with enthusiasm at once.  And now a new song  live, from album SOL : Pray Nightfall. It impacts very well delivering an excellent mix of strength and desperate feelings, put in action with good echo effects, which involve vocals too.  "in my head this all is in my head this all is" are singing Aaron and Greg too with closed eyes and energy, angriness.  What can i say then  for As I die? A great success , the crowd , me included, is banging like in a Death metal concert, relentless. aggressive, with high musical content: so is Metal my dear all. With As I die  i am in my water, in my cup of coffee, in my cup of tea, in my chalice of blood. And i'm not the only one tonight. Nick seems to be really satisfied and holds out the microphone to the crowd. Osanna: As I die. Very far from being dead. It is a symbol  in the hearts of the younger fans too.  Before Perfect Mask starts someone is singing loud (i think i know who he is..hehehhehe Peter right?) and Nick,  even amused,  asks him practically if maybe he wants to jam/ reach the stage.   Perfect mask  sounds always so great live and they play it so heavy that you can only say - it's the hammer falling! - Mystify is emotional but less of the expected cause it sounds more energetic than weeping and i can say it is super . Mercy,  oh well, here the band has done all what PL are able to do: virtuosism, depression, atmosphere, strength, heaviness sadness, it is a small show in the show, that sends into raptures. Say just Words is rasping, raw, and another wave of headbanging is starting.  It's true the time runs, hardly we understand that it should be encore time; Nick practically says that the band goes on playing. Really happy (may i use this word: happiness?) we are catapulted right fast into Isolate that has lost much of its  disco characteristics turning into another  headbanging attack, while Nick's voice , which, from time to time, comes out even higher, is energetic enough and doesn't conflict with this general picture.  Small town Boy makesthe whole venue  jump , while One Second , which provides a good gothic touch, goes down  smooth like oil, everyone is still high due to the previous songs performed that way.  Metal that's was: Metal in its style, of course. it's not the No mercy (though you could go in every No mercy still today with Icon and Shades of God) ,   it's not Slayer (and thanks a god!) . But it was Metal, Metal with class. The performance of Greg was simply excellent , the timing among all instruments good done. I could say it was the best (but will there ever be a best ever?) concert from Paradise Lost that i've seen  . It can seem rethoric or exaggerated, knowing my severe fan syndrome. But  i "tend" to be very objective and even more with my beloved PL  if it is possible: i could only say that they have bound together the technical brilliant result of the Day at the Border with the great feeling and charge of  the Rock the Bock , underlining even more the heaviness of both. It's up to you now to come to the obvious conclusion .  A monday night in Zürich... 



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Greg (PL) 

dalia di giacomo    

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