Tag Archives: death

album review : Tragic Idol (2012) – Paradise Lost

album : Tragic Idol

artist : Paradise Lost

genre : Gothic Rock / Metal

year : 2012

They are amongst the first names from the early death/doom metal era, but Paradise Lost cannot be labelled only under that single genre anymore. They’ve contributed to the genesis, shaping and advancement of doom metal by taking themselves outside the perimeters of the genre much before bands started to think that changing their style is something that is actually possible. A career spanning over twenty years, thirteen full-length albums (including Tragic Idol) and fans across galaxies, they are one of those extraordinary bands from the underground scene to have kissed tremendous success and they keep applying their own laws of music as and when they feel the need. Paradise Lost‘s dabbling between metal and rock, their trysts with clean and harsh vocals, and the evergreen theme of despair on all their albums have proved fruitful to the fans and the band.

Coming to Tragic Idol (love the name), the vibe of the album is much like most of the earlier works of the band, and finding something new for your memories becomes a little hard. The album is true to the roots of Paradise Lost, battling every personal issue, opening every sphere of the mind to indulge into the problem and not drawing a line when it comes to talking out inner problems. Coming very close to the band’s music you realize that Paradise Lost does not want to break free of things, they only want to share so that the rest of us who are floating in the same river have a voice. The lyrics on Tragic Idol (and every other PD album) is not some mindless blabbering about beer or chicks, it is an in-depth journey into the deepest lanes of this complicated world that we call ‘mind’.

One really cannot argue with a band such as this one who have vowed to take ownership of the darkest corners in our head with their music, producing riveting tunes such as those on Solitary One, Crucify, Honesty In Death, . Then there are a few others occupying you with their atmospheric greatness such as Fear Of Impending Hell, In This We Dwell, title track Tragic Idol, or the straight-forward fast riff worship on Theories From Another World and To The Darkness. Face melting solos, designed to assist your thoughts to keep going lest they bite the dust, have been evenly distributed on the album.

Tragic Lost is very strong on emotions, less driven by variety, and has some fabulously crafted tracks that can definitely be played at funerals. This definitely isn’t an album for party lovers because this is exactly where the party should stop. Tragic Lost is poetry in motion, and as is sung on one of the songs on the album, “My honesty in death, honesty adorns the end, modesty’s intent“, it is only the end that matters to Paradise Lost as can be inferred from the band’s name that there never was a paradise, and if at all there was one it has already been lost. Now that’s what we should call a happy ending.

Rating : 3.5/5

gig review : Dinner is a Lie tour 2010 (Bombay leg) featuring Albatross, Devoid and Nervecell

Witnessing a good metal gig unfold in front of you can get you back in shape. Dinner is a lie tour had Indian metal bands Albatross and Devoid launching their albums and Dubai-based Nervecell breaking bones. After not finding enough people to do so in Bangalore and Hyderabad, I am sure Nervecell was disappointed by the live metal scene in India until they came to Bombay for the last leg of the tour. More than four hundred interested metalheads landed at Blue Frog for this indoor gig.

Blue Frog has been a host to many a gigs that have happened here in the near past and is a venue that leaves you satisfied. Thanks to the free mints at the entry.


Alright, the gig was to begin at 9 p.m. and it started half an hour after that. The venue looked pretty filled and the opening band Devoid was to take the stage. An album launch can be a great high and the proud members of Devoid stood there while the intro to their album was played. Song after song the band played their entire album in order. With their original guitarist Keshav present, the band put up a strong show before the current guitarist Sanju completed their set. While Devoid belted their originals the crowd forgot the fact that there is a tomorrow they have to live for. Getting the otherwise wasted bouncers back to work, there was a maddening response to Devoid complete with crowd and stage surfing. And that is so metal. Sound-wise the band was really tight and on the console was Fali Damania who will be thanked more than once here.


Albatross was next. Debuting in Bombay is quite a task and that showed in the band’s performance. The band played the entire Ep along with a cover song which was Ozzy Osbourne‘s Mr. Crowley. The crowd reacted a bit coldly but the band did get heads bobbing towards the end. Tightening up is all that is needed as no band has ever owned a crowd on their debut.

It was time for the headlining band and Nervecell‘s monstrous members left little space for any non-sense on stage. Making metal instruments seem small and cute because of their personalities, the moment they began I bet even a blind person would have known where the sound is coming from. They were brilliantly brutal and tight and they made it clear what it takes to tour with bands like Deicide and Suffocation.


This is how their setlist looked like :

Flesh and Memories
Human Chaos
Existence Ceased
Vicious Circle of Bloodshed
Bolt Thrower cover

Very loud, these lovers of old school death were impressed by the response they got. Naming Bombay as the metal capital of India was one thing while asking metalheads to mosh unrelentingly and still watchout for each other was another. Many woke up to the beauty of thrash death metal, and credit goes to Nervecell.

Thanks to Gigbox for the gig, Blue Frog for the venue equipped with some great acoustics and light arrangements, Ayan De for the spectacular visuals on the screens, Sahil Makhija, Demonstealer Records and Fali Damania. The sound contract for my marriage as well as my funeral goes to you. All in all it was a fun gig and an experience that will be remembered for the longest time. It is gigs like these that actually make me want to live longer.

[All the saliva-dripping pictures included here have been clicked by Pratika Prabhune (bass, clean vocals – Chronic Phobia)]

Here’s a video of Nervecell playing Demolition at Blue Frog, Bombay.

P. Emerson Williams – an interaction

Alright as was said, here’s the interview that is just the beginning of a lot more to come.

emerson williams

Loosening up right now is P. Emerson Williams. Emerson is a musician, artist and an illustrator who grew up in Norway and is currently working in London. Known for his blackened industrial band Choronzon for which he plays all instruments, Emerson is part of two other bands Veil of Thorns and Kkoagulaa, add to that many other collaborations. Emerson is an artist and has worked with Katatonia and Primordial and very recently he did the artwork for Indian band Rat King (who are with Roadcrew Records, India) for their 2009 offering Larva. He has come a long way as a visionary artist and an illustrator, and his work is collected in the books Enshroud and Panic Pandemic. Also a chaos magick practitioner, his knowledge includes a lot of stuff that would require going beyond the usual. Here’s the conversation.

Hey Emerson, hows it going?

Emerson – Roiling chaos and uncertainty surrounds, as is usual.

Metal. What does it mean to you?

Emerson – A vast country, comprised of rotting, primitive structures to Wagnerian grandeur and creepy soundscapes. I always come back to metal.

choronzon cover

Artists you look up to…

Emerson – I spent many hours gazing at art books of Albrect Dürer, Hans Baldung and other late Gothic artists as a young’un. The surrealists were an obsession in my teens, and photographers like Imogen Cunningham and Joel-Peter Witkin have probably been more influential on my imagery than any other form of visual artist.

Some metal bands that excite you at this moment…

Emerson – Rat King blow my mind every time I listen, and hearing Rose Kemp makes me want to pull together a three-piece and see what kinds of unholy noises she could make. Blackdeath from Russia and the new Burzum.

Whats on your playlist right now…

Emerson – I’ve gone back to Mordor (Swiss version), off late. I find myself missing the raw, lo-fi aesthetic of early underground metal of days gone by.

veil of thorns cover

Black metal is…

Emerson – In its on parallel universe away from market conventions.

When you hit the bar you look for…

Emerson – First choice ould be an mid 20th century Armagnac, but a ’77 vintage port is never to be resisted. I tend to like to be able to taste the dirt in which the grapes were grown. Or a well aged single-barrel bourbon.

Your bands and collaborations…

Emerson – Main bands are Choronzon, Veil of Thorns and Kkoagulaa. Recent collaborations are with FoolishPeople on their last four productions, Manes on the How the World Came to an End album and John Zewizz of Sleep Chamber fame on his new solo album 2012.

Band you wish you were part of…

Emerson Killing Joke.

Your opinion on the Indian scene…

Emerson – There is real quality coming out of India. I’m seeing a lot of activity all the way around, with labels and event organizers making things happen. This DIY ethic is precisely what is needed to create fertile ground for creativity and gives everyone reason to be excited about being involved. I wonder if there’s as healthy a scene for Industrial and Goth in India as there seems to be for Metal…

Kkoagulaa cover

How is the Indian metal scene perceived around you…

Emerson – Well, most US/Euro people around me have been introduced to Indian metal by my playing Rat King to them, which has awakened a great deal of interest. Blind Image are definitely making a name for themselves all over the place. I’m distributing their album More Than Human at Veil Of Thorns store along with both Rat King albums and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding both artists.

Your opinion on…

God – Anthropomorphising the ineffable.

Religion – Should never involve more than one human.

Satan – Every good propaganda effort needs a bogeyman. Creating one out of the gods of the vanquished peoples is, well, diabolical…

Your Indian connections…

Emerson – Brilliant and wonderful people.

Few words for Roadcrew Records…

Emerson – They’re doing a wonderful job, the dedication to their artists and quality of releases is inspiring. I see great things coming from Madhav and Roadcrew in the future.

Any Indian trip (work or pleasure) in the pipeline…

Emerson – That will require the right circumstances. I would love to bring a band and full theatrical production and collaborate with Indian musicians/visual artists/theatre troupes/multimedia artists and do something different. Just putting that out there and we’ll see.

life blood

Your views on Burzum’s comeback Belus…

Emerson – A breath of fresh air from an ancient forest…

Releases this year you are looking forward to…

Emerson – Well, since I’ve been wrapped up in a million projects, I haven’t had time to keep up on what’s coming down the pike. Two releases I’ve had a hand in are 2012, John Zewizz’ (Sleep Chamber) solo album is due out this spring as is the Sleep Chamber classic Satanic Sanction – remastered and expanded. I did the cover layouts and art for both and had the honour of playing cello on 2012. Trev has another Midnight Configuration album cooking and it’s shaping up to be amazing and there’s the return of Killing Joke‘s original lineup with Feast of Fools late in the year.

When I say absurd history, first thing that comes to your mind…

Emerson – Wide-ranging, society, travel, photos – Metal!

There are only 1411 tigers left in India (or thats what we are told), your views/does it matter..

Emerson – There are too damn many of us. From the time of the first migration of humans from Africa, the arrival of homo sapiens has been accompanied by mass extinction of other species. We can’t expand into the stars soon enough.

Life is a bitch, is it?

Emerson – Life is pure joy. Reality tunnels we construct in ever narrower dimensions mask this fact.

Do you miss Chuck Schuldiner…

Emerson – Yes. Funny about Florida’s death metal guitarists and brain cancer…

emerson on cello and maynard la paz playing berimbao

Lamb of God playing in India on 15th May. You want to say anything on this…

Emerson – Good fortune for Lamb of God. I have no doubt they’ll get a thundering reception.

Details about any of your work that has released recently or is going to release…

Emerson – Latest releases are Veil of ThornsSalon Apocalypse and Necrofuturist, available from Inner-XMusickSoleilmoon, Market Apocalypse and Roadcrew, as well as Manifestation Objective which can be found on iTunes. Released just this month is KkoagulaaAurum Nostrum Non Est Aurum Vulgi with members of Manes, 3rd and the Mortal, Atrox, Chton, Shining (Swe) and more, and KkoagulaaImpressions of Ardour digi-EP on iTunes. There is much more to come from Kkoagulaa. And then there’s a continuous experiment from FoolishPeople


Primordial or Katatonia

Kkoagulaa or Manes
– Can never be an either/or proposition.

Rat King or King Diamond
Rat King, hands down.

Port or Bourbon

Black or Death

Iron Maiden or Dio

Melodic or Brutal
– Strange.

Burzum or Irgum Burgum

Last Words…

Emerson – Gjev meg gamalost!


To know Emerson more than what you know about him now you could visit Choronzon.org, Alterati.com and Greylodge.org

also read :

album review : Ihsahn – After (2010)

album review : Burzum – Belus (2010)

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