Live Reviews : Cathedral, Paradise Lost & Turisas In Sydney
After the accumulation of Soundwave, work, being back at university, and the massive evening of DTP and Meshuggah the night before, I found myself in a sleepy haze back at The Factory, a venue that’s quickly becoming one of my more preferred throughout Sydney. Sleep deprivation aside, tonight was the sideshow I was looking the most forward to, being that two of my favourite bands, Turisas and Paradise Lost, were sharing the stage together, as well as legendary doom band Cathedral, who were playing their second last headlining show before calling it quits. Not a bad line-up for only $40, I must say. If only it was this cheap all the time, but thems the breaks living on the opposite of the globe to so many great bands.
Escaping the torrential rain Sydney was getting doused with, I entered the venue to find a rather smaller crowd than the night before. This sideshow hadn’t sold out, which wasn’t that surprising I guess seeing nothing of the more ‘mainstream’ metal bands were on this bill, but this is a scenario I much prefer, especially after the experience I had on the following night at the Mastodon show. I was able to get right up the front easily enough, and just as I did, Turisas made their way onto the stage, opening with the first track from their new album, “The March of the Varangian Guard”. Compared to their Soundwave performance a few days earlier, their sound was significantly better, both in clarity and general sound levels. Even though Turisas has a few new members whom they only acquired recently, they seemed more energetic on stage than ever, a feat which I would have thought near impossible. The new line-up has seemed to rejuvenate the band, making them more powerful live than ever. I must say that their latest album has been my least favourite of their releases thus far, but the two tracks they played from it came across much better live. Unfortunately being the openers for this bill, Turisas were only about to play for around half an hour, but managed to fit in their cover of Boney M’s “Rasputin”, one of the most fun tracks you’ll ever see live, and their genre defining, now infamous track “Battle Metal”, in which they closed their short set with. With the usual promise in which they said they’ll be back, I’m hoping they are able to do so as being the 6th or 7th time seeing them live, I still yearn for more.
Next up was Paradise Lost, a band who I’ve been a huge fan of ever since I picked up a second hand copy of their One Second album when I was holidaying in New Zealand over a decade ago. It’s safe to say that I was beyond myself with excitement when Soundwave announced that Dragonforce would be unable to play at the festival and that Paradise Lost would be replacing them. Opening with the first track from their classic Draconian Times album, “Enchantment” made for a perfect start to the set for the veteran gothic doom band. I’ve seen Paradise Lost a few times now, once a few days earlier at Soundwave, and then a couple of times during their European festival run in 2008. The first thing I found myself thinking was that Paradise Lost come across a LOT better playing an indoor club style venue rather than an outdoor festival type environment. Not only was the sound a million times better than any of the previous times I had seen them, but the band themselves appeared much more at home in such a setting, and as a result, seemed to put a lot more energy into their performance. Paradise Lost managed to play a decent range of material from their lengthy career, including a few older tracks like the classic “As I Die” and “Forever Failure”, which were great additions to the set. As a live band, they’ve definitely got their stage presence set to the mood of the music, and no member outshines the other, they are an equal entity up there, which makes viewing a lot easier as you can take the show in as a whole singular experience. Here’s hoping they return to tour on the release of their new album which comes out next month.
And finally we come to the headliners of the night, Cathedral, who were playing their final shows ever as part of the Soundwave festival as they have now called it quits as a band. In fact, tonight’s show was their second last headlining show ever, with Melbourne being their last the following night. I’ve got to start by saying Cathedral has been one of those bands whose music I’ve only heard a few times, but been meaning to check out more when I had the chance. Therefore tonight was the most Cathedral I’ve ever heard and was definitely impressed. I really wish I had taken more time to check their stuff out, as I think I would have got a lot more out of tonight’s show if I had. It was evident that those who knew their material well were really enjoying the set, as it was one of the most energetic crowds I had seen it a long time. Cathedral weren’t overly active onstage, seemingly content with holding their own ground on stage, but I guess it fits with the whole doom metal persona. From what I understand, they played a good range of material from their lengthy career stretching all the way back to the start of the 90s. There was one song which was truly awful though, which I later learnt was one of the tracks from their most recent album. To tell you the truth, if that’s what they are churning out now, it’s probably a good thing they’ve called it quits. But all their older material went over really well live. I could tell afterwards overhearing a few conversations, that many were disappointed that they were calling it quits. Again, I wish I knew more of their material so I could have given a better insight of their show, but can’t know them all I guess.
1. The March of the Varangian Guard
2. The Great Escape
3. To Holmgard and Beyond
5. Battle Metal
Paradise Lost Setlist
2. Pity the Sadness
3. Forever Failure
4. The Enemy
5. Honesty in Death
7. One Second
8. As I Die
9. Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
10. Say Just Words