The Anatomy Of Melancholy (DVD)
The best example of Paradise Lost live to date
Following on from their huge comeback album In Requiem last year, West Yorkshire (U.K.) based gothic rock/metal legends Paradise Lost are back with a new live effort in The Anatomy Of Melancholy. Despite having already released a few live video/D.V.D. efforts in the past (Most notably 1990's Live Death, 1994's Harmony Breaks and 1999's One Second Live), none have managed to really capture the many shifts in sound and direction the band has made throughout their twenty year career. The Anatomy Of Melancholy on the other hand is the first Paradise Lost D.V.D. that manages to do just that.
Filmed at Camden's infamous and lavish Koko venue in front of a sold-out crowd, The Anatomy Of Melancholy presents an absolutely blinding live performance from the seminal gothic rock/metal act, with every phase of the band's ever evolving career represented over the course of their twenty-two song set list. Although unfamiliar to most of the crowd (As the D.V.D. was filmed in April 2007, prior to the release of In Requiem), set opener The Enemy is given a warm reception for its live premier. Unlike the studio version, The Enemy sounds heavier and more aggressive, and sets the tone for the remainder of the one hundred minutes.
From here, Paradise Lost (Who comprise of vocalist Nick Holmes, guitarists Gregor Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, bassist Stephen Edmondson and drummer Jeff Singer) hand select classics from 1991's Gothic (Gothic and Eternal), 1992's Shades Of God (As I Die and Pity The Sadness), 1993's Icon (True Belief and Embers Fire), 1995's Draconian Times (Forever Failure, Once Solemn and The Last Time) and 1997's One Second (One Second and Say Just Words). But what's really surprising is just how fitting the songs are from their more controversial albums in amongst the older numbers. Examples of this come in So Much Is Lost (1999's Host), Mouth (2001's Believe In Nothing), Erased, No Celebration (Both from 2002's Symbol Of Life), Grey and Red Shift (Both from 2005's Paradise Lost).
Apart from the above mentioned tracks, the band revisits the rare b-side track Sweetness (From the Seals The Sense E.P. from 1994), run through a savage version of their latest single Praise Lamented Shade and offer up an uncredited version of Isolate (2002's Symbol Of Life) as part of their impromptu second encore.
Performance wise, the band are simply flawless, with Holmes himself standing out as the most impressive with his vocals throughout. The filmed footage itself is no less impressive with everything beautifully shot and with the editing capturing and complimenting the band's amazing concert.
In terms of extras (Which are present on the second disc of the D.V.D.), we're offered up an insightful and often humorous fifteen minute interview with the band themselves, a mildly interesting nine minute chat with various fans outside the Koko venue following Paradise Lost's performance, and a revealing thirty minute documentary documenting the band's European tour from 2007 (Lost In Europe). There's also a quick trailer of last years Over The Madness documentary, as well as promotional video clips for The Enemy and Praise Lamented Shade.
More often than not, it's the extras on D.V.D. releases that determine whether or not a D.V.D. is a hit, or a complete miss. But in the case of The Anatomy Of Melancholy, its Paradise Lost's career spanning concert itself that's really makes this package essential. The extras are just that - extra bonus material. After an amazing album (In Requiem), Paradise Lost has once again come up with something truly special with The Anatomy Of Melancholy. This is an absolute must for Paradise Lost fans both old and new.
(Century Media Records/Stomp Records Distribution)