Picture the scene; it’s a cold yet bright day in Scotland. There’s a buzz in the air. A buzz that metalheads from all over know all too well. A certain atmosphere of excitement, anticipation, impatience and, dare I say it, apprehension. It can only mean one thing;

IT’S GIG DAY.

But this isn’t just any regular gig day, not that gig days are regular by any means. No, this is the first gig I’ve attended in over 2 years since the dreaded Pandemic. My first post-COVID gig, so that excitement and anticipation is also marred perhaps, by a slight uneasiness. Nevertheless, the dreaded ‘C-word’ hasn’t cancelled this gig like so many others before, so the excitement easily takes over. You can check out my full vlog at the end of this article.

Moonspell

With a highly respectable 33 year tenure, Moonspell are amongst the top level of Gothic Metal hierarchy. They continue to astound and amaze with their incredibly addictive energy and formidable stage presence, taking you on a emotive journey, telling tales of mythical wonder. Now, they finally have the chance to head out on a tour to showcase 2021’s ‘Hermitage,’ and what an outstanding record that is.

Tearing the opening of the show apart with the haunting ‘The Greater Good,’ they grab the audience’s attention instantly and set the venue alight. The atmosphere is electrified and the crowd is jumping as the band tear through banger after banger from their vast discography. “Common Prayers,” “Opium,” “Hermitage,” “Extinct” and “Alma Mater” are amongst the setlist selection and the crowd never relent on reciprocating the energy flowing from the stage. Moonspell are seasoned showmen, wizards of their craft and provided an absolutely explosive performance.

Setlist

The Greater Good; Common Prayers; Opium; Night Eternal; Breathe (Until We Are No More); Hermitage; Extinct; Apophthegmata; Alma Mater; Full Moon Madness

Paradise Lost

Despite routinely defying genre boundaries throughout their history, Paradise Lost are considered as the creators of the ‘Gothic Metal’ genre with the release of 1991’s ‘Gothic.’ It was an ‘off-the-cuff’ remark when asked to comment on their genre/style during an interview and it has stuck ever since. 30-odd years later and they show absolutely no signs of slowing down.

The band’s 16th studio album ‘Obsidian‘ was released in the throes of the pandemic in May 2020 so it’s safe to say they were eager to get out on the stage and perform their ‘new’ material; something that vocalist Nick Holmes had actually joked about on stage that night.

Mixing their setlist up between the ‘gothic death/doom’ we all know and love with the likes of ‘Fall From Grace,’ ‘Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us,’ ‘Eternal,‘ and ‘No Hope In Sight‘ interspersed with the livelier ‘One Second,’ Blood and Chaos’ and ‘Say Just Words,Paradise Lost have proven that they are tighter than they ever have been before. With a solid performance never failing to get the crowd bouncing and chanting along but also bringing the mood down to gloomy, gothic tones when the moment called for it. This show was both fire and darkness, energetic and melancholy, emotive and exciting (ignoring the security guard right in front of me falling asleep at the barrier…but we’ll bypass that little detail).

As post-COVID comeback gigs go, you couldn’t get a more perfect show. I highly recommend you catch either Paradise Lost or Moonspell if and when the opportunity presents itself. See for yourself with my vlog below.

Setlist

Widow; Fall From Grace; Blood and Chaos; Faith Divides Us- Death Unites Us; Eternal; One Second, Serenity; The Enemy; As I Die; The Devil Embraced; The Last Time; No Hope In Sight; Say Just Words; Darker Thoughts; So Much Is Lost; Beneath Broken Earth; Ghosts