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Live Music Hall, Cologne and Zeche, Bochum, Germany
29th September and 6th October 2007
Paradise Lost, Eyes of Eden and Neurosonic

It has been a year full of activity so far for PARADISE LOST. They have played several festival gigs in Europe and i.e. in Morocco. An absolute highlight was a concert in London in April in the Koko club, when new songs were played to the public before they were even released. This concert was filmed and will be released as a live DVD someday soon. You can get a little impression of the concert by watching the video of ‘Praise Lamented Shade’ which you will find on YouTube or over the PARADISE LOST MySpace site.

Later they guys were the support for some gigs of TYPE O’NEGATIVE and now in October and November next to the headliner gigs they have the possibility to open the shows for NIGHTWISH in the USA. But of course the most important part was the release of their 11th album ‘In Requiem’ which saw the light of day in May. It was available in different versions. There was the digi-pack release of the album which was limited to 25,000 copies worldwide and the vinyl box set which was limited to 2000 copies worldwide, and contains all the normal edition's album tracks, ‘Missing’, ‘Silent in Heart’, and the B-Side ‘Godless’, as well as a CD copy of the album, and a poster.

At the end of September finally the band was touring again and the waiting period for the German fans was over. Not everyone had the chance to see them at the Woodstage festival in Glauchau in summer. The tour brought them also to Cologne and Bochum, where their fans waited with open arms and in a fantastic mood. They had two support acts and so the set was international with NEUROSONIC from Canada, EYES OF EDEN from Germany and PARADISE LOST from England. The concerts began really early at about 18.45h. Cologne already was packed but the Bochum show was sold out. So you know what to expect…


NEUROSONIC emerged from the Vancouver rock scene, early 2006. As driven and unapologetic as the creator, the music of NEUROSONIC bears its own blend of fierce vigour. NEUROSONIC’s blatant, brutally honest musings are an intense build of hard rock, industrial reinforcement, standout lyrics, and big, catchy, killer choruses.

NEUROSONIC’s songwriter / producer, Jason Darr (lead vocals / guitar) is the real deal: an uncompromising artist, determined to realize and relay his vision. Joining him in this journey are Troy Healy (guitar), Jacen Ekstrom (accompanying vocals / bass) and Shane Smith (drums) all are committed to the creation, performance and recording of visceral, powerful music. The manifestation of this is NEUROSONIC’s, 2007 premier Bodog Music release, ‘Drama Queen’.

‘Drama Queen’ challenges the genre boundaries set up in today's rock scene. As aggressive and furious as a pop album could be the NEUROSONIC sound is a musical mutation like none other: BEATLESesque hooks assaulted with industrial rock NINE INCH NAILS. Or MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE theatrics merged with SYSTEM OF A DOWN progressions. The lyrics written by Darr defy comparison. His hyper-intensity, torment and sarcasm are reflected in the songs. They connect with listeners, tired of piss-and-moan post grunge or “we're-so-cute” pseudo-Emo. Whether waging all out war on psycho chicks (‘Crazy Sheila’), standing defiantly in the face of idiocy (‘Until I Die’), or (‘So Many People’) spitting venom at the pre-fab pop star machine NEUROSONIC remain true to them-selves, the music, and to their cult of loyal fans. ‘Drama Queen’ says it the way NEUROSONIC fans feel it.

Night after night, tour after tour NEUROSONIC are guaranteed to deliver a face-caving show. Shane Smith punishes the drums, lying down with fierce vigour. Guitarist Troy Healy and bassist Jacen Ekstrom slash and burn the stage with charismatic force and unstoppable energy. As Jason Darr sings, sneers and screams, invading the audience headspace he becomes the puppet master to mesmerized crowds. NEUROSONIC demands and receives a powerful reaction from global audiences this show is the head butt after the handshake.

NEUROSONIC continuously promote their release ‘Drama Queen’ internationally, with the support of Bodog Music - and NEUROSONIC fans. NEUROSONIC are Jason Darr (lead vocals / guitar), Troy Healy (guitar), Jacen Ekstrom (bass / accompanying vocals) and Shane Smit (drums). /

Fuck‘n rock with NEUROSONIC! They are young, they are wild and they have a certain thing, which you really need in this business: Self-Esteem. Their music is a combination of rock, loud and fantastic guitars, some kind of hip hop singing, some screaming and also a bit electronic. But unfortunately it is nothing we haven’t already heard before. All in all I would say it was BILLY TALENT crossing GREEN DAY crossing OFFSPRING. I didn’t know the songs before and we don’t have a setlist but as far as I can say they played the same songs in Cologne and Bochum.

It was great fun to watch them on stage. They could not stand still. They were looking for contact to the audience and showed how much they believe in themselves. For example by asking who is speaking English and they should tell the other ones just how fucking great they are and they will kick ass and rock the hall. Fantastic were all the grimaces drummer Shane Smit can make while he was playing. Guitarist Troy Healy reminded me at once of Anthony Kiedis of the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. He looked a bit like him and he was acting on stage like Anthony.

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 6.5

Eyes of Eden

EYES OF EDEN, that’s ‘Faith’ featuring Waldemar Sorychta & Franziska Huth with drums by Gas Lipstick (HIM). EYES OF EDEN started innocently enough: guitarist / producer Waldemar Sorychta wrote songs that came natural to him, assembled a great band and recorded the material with Gas Lipstick (HIM) on drums. After that they wanted to bring it to the people... but sometimes life doesn't work that smoothly.

The singer Sandra Schleret had serious health issues to take care of (she's fine now!), so the album had to be recorded a second time with a new vocalist. That's why ‘Faith’ took more than two years in the making, a true labour of love. But the band got lucky: Franziska Huth might only be 20 years old, but years of vocal training and numerous concerts made her the perfect fit for EYES OF EDEN. Having the looks, of course doesn't hurt either.

In the world of darkly tinged Rock and Metal, Waldemar Sorychta could be considered somewhat of a legend, the godfather of a genre: He produced every LACUNA COIL record and is responsible for the biggest albums by MOONSPEL (the latest being their smashing comeback ‘Memorial’) and TIAMAT (‘Wildhoney’ anyone?). He also shaped the sound and feel of SAMAEL, THE GATHERING, SENTENCED, and countless others by giving their material the sonic environment it needs, even co-writing some of the music. So it's fair to say that Waldemar Sorychta defined a sound. And now he's doing what he always did before and while producing all those bands: Writing and playing himself.

It's only natural then that EYES OF EDEN has his signature style and sound all over - and then some. In fact, if you consider that Waldemar Sorychta has played high class thrash with GRIP INC. and DESPAIR, you can be sure that ‘Faith’ has plenty of hard rocking guitars. You can listen to the album in candlelight, but you can also scream along to the heavier tracks. Just step in... EYES OF EDEN are Franziska Huth (vocals), Waldemar Sorychta (guitar), Alla Fedynitch (bass) and Tom Diener (drums). /

With Waldemar Sorychta on guitar you have already a guarantee for great music, sound and guitar riffs. His name is well known if you are listening to bands like LACUNA COIL, THE GATHERING, SENTENCED or MOONSPELL for example. But this band has nothing to do with trash metal or something like this - it’s more dark rock with an atmosphere. You must like bands like WITHIN TEMPTATION, rock with a high female voice. I enjoyed the music so much, but somehow I’m sure the whole package would sound better with a darker or male voice. Franziska’s voice is too thin for the music the other guys are playing. She’s also singing during some parts in an “Ofra Haza” style.

In Bochum the band was much more relaxed than in Cologne. Maybe one reason was that they are coming from the Bochum area and so they played at home. Especially Franziska seemed to be still shy on stage. The other woman in the band, Alla Fedynitch looked so damn cool as she has never done anything else before. Well, Franziska is seven years younger and it is always hard to be at the front. However I think she could rock much more on stage - it was never loud enough for Waldemar, he always wanted to see and hear clapping hands and some movement in the audience.

Setlist Cologne
01. Winter Night
02. When Gods Fall
03. Star
04. Pictures
05. Dancing Fire
06. Daylight
07. From Heaven Sent
08. Mother’s Revenge

Music: 8
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.1

Paradise Lost

Over their two decade long career, PARADISE LOST have not only created and defined genres and styles, but almost immediately transcended them. From the crawling, harrowing doom of their 1990 debut ‘Lost Paradise’, to the electronic flourishes prevalent in 1997’s ‘One Second’, 1999’s ‘Host’ and 2005’s stunning self-titled album, their sound has continued to evolve vastly, but haunting melody and dark rock power has remained at the very core of their identity.

In 1991 the band released ‘Gothic’, not so much an album title as the definition for an entire genre, while the influence 1995’s huge-selling masterpiece ‘Draconian Times’ - the missing link between METALLICA and the SISTERS OF MERCY - echoes loudly in today’s scene, with the likes of CRADLES OF FILTH, NIGHTWISH and HIM owing a huge debt to their knack for injecting heavy rock with their trademark dark sheen.

Recorded at both Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire with producer Rhys Fulber, and also in Canada and was mixed by Mike Fraser (METALLICA, AC/DC, VAN HALEN), ‘In Requiem’ sees the band taking a slight step away from the moodier leanings of their last few records into more stripped down territory, and continuing to push the envelope of what can be done with the dark side of heavy metal, while remaining as anthemic and recognisable as ever in their shadowy art.

“We wanted to make a heavier, darker Paradise Lost album”, says singer Nick Holmes. “But it was also important to write songs that encompass the melody that has become very much an integral part of our music over the last 10 years.” “More raw, organic, less polished” is how guitarist Gregor Mackintosh puts it. “Musically, it is about finding the balance between brutality and empathy, between horror and beauty. Neither a celebration nor a lamentation, simply the emotions that arise, being surrounded by life and death.” PARADISE LOST are Nick Holmes (vocals), Greg Mackintosh (lead guitar), Aaron Aedy (rhythm guitar), Steve Edmondson (bass) and Jeff Singer (drums). /

The band started the set with the first single from the new album ‘The Enemy’, which was a great opener. Followed by ‘Gothic’ (played in Cologne) from 1991 and a big surprise, it must have been ages ago they played the last time. Knowing Nick Holmes humour he would say now: Not ages ago it was just the evening before. *g* The woman’s voice came from tape, also like any keyboard sound and as well the woman’s voice you heard in ‘Erased’. But that’s fine with me. The setlist was a little mix of everything; it was a good review of the past years. The sound was more crap than good and Nick’s voice often too thin - especially in Cologne where the sound was not really good. It also must be difficult for Nick to sing songs like ‘Grey’ when his voice is distorted on the album and he shall sing this with a clear voice live.

In Bochum they gave the fans the opportunity to choose if they want to hear ‘Gothic’ or ‘As I die’ - the choice was ‘As I die’. Nick must have expected that, because he said: “I told you!” Somehow it is an all time favourite of the fans. It was a bit unfair to leave the Zeche with one song less (they didn’t played ‘Gothic’ at all in Bochum), because the crowd was much crazier and it was a better mood than in Cologne. But what can you do, everything comes to an end.

The cover of the new album ‘In Requiem’ was the background of the stage. The rest was the same picture as always: everyone rocked, moshed or banged with the songs, just Nick was standing still at the microphone stand. But he never moved a lot on stage. He is more the entertainer. If you know PARADISE LOST a little bit, you might know that Nick has a great and dry sense of humour. When they played a new song in Cologne, he said which number it is on the CD, maybe for those people who haven’t bought the album and just downloaded it. Later he said ‘As I Die’ was for the smokers and he introduced drummer Jeff Singer as Adam Sander. Do you see a little similarity? In Bochum Jeff was called Ben Kingsley. He had cut his hair. Both shows were great but as always too short and for a fan there are always songs which were missed.

Setlist Cologne
01. The Enemy
02. Gothic
03. Ash & Debris
04. No Celebration
05. So Much Is Lost
06. Pity The Sadness
07. Praise Lamented Shade
08. Enchantment
09. Requiem
10. Grey
11. Unreachable
12. As I Die
13. One Second
14. Never For The Damned
15. Erased
16. Over The Madness
17. Say Just Words
Setlist Bochum
01. The Enemy
02. Ash & Debris
03. No Celebration
04. So Much Is Lost
05. Pity The Sadness
06. Praise Lamented Shade
07. Enchantment
08. Requiem
09. Grey
10. Unreachable
11. As I Die (chosen by the audience)
12. One Second
13. Never For The Damned
14. Erased
15. Over The Madness
16. Say Just Words

Music 9
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light 8
Total 8.3

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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