Posted on by Oran

Yorkshire Goth Metal Godfather’s Paradise Lost celebrate 30 years of of their milestone album ‘Icon’ with a sold out show at the infamous Shepards Bush Empire playing the album back to back, which also coincides with the release of their re-recorded version of the whole record, dubbed ‘Icon 30’.

It’s a grey, wet and gloomy day in London, a rather perfect backdrop to the queues of black t-shirt and hoodies that swarm around both sides of the Shepards Bush Empire in anticipation for tonights show.

With the weather on point for the bands on the bill tonight, the atmosphere is somewhat jovial and the sold out crowd are ready for their dose of Gothic Doom in the form of the only support band on the bill tonight, My Dying Bride.

Playing a mix of old ‘classics’ and the odd newer track, they go down well with most of the crowd in attendence. Frontman Aaron Stainthorpe lurks in the shadows during the instrumental parts. When he switches to the more old school death vocals, this is when I enjoyed their set more, but for me personally, I was bored after half an hour, and their one hour set for me was far too long. I’ve never been a fan and tonight reaffirmed my stance. Sorry guys, but it’s a no from me.

On the other hand, myself like many others are here for the main event, and kicking off their Embers Of Europe Tour tonight on the same day as the re-recorded Icon 30 album is released, we get to hear the whole album played in its entirety, with some songs making their live debut! I, like many here tonight are ecstatic with anticipation and excitement. I have absolutely adored the album Icon since hearing it way back in 1993. This was my gateway PL album that made me a die hard, to which t I remain to be to this very day.


The PL backdrop is revealed in all its glory as the album outro ‘Deus Misereatur’ is played as the intro. The band make their way one by one to the stage and the lights dim as the cello intro of ‘Embers Fire‘ starts things off. I have goose bumps like it’s 1993, and I am hearing it again for the first time! Amazing.

Remembrance‘ and ‘Forging Sympathy‘ sound even better live and we get live debuts of songs like ‘Weeping Words‘ and ‘Poison‘. Live staple ‘True Belief‘ sounds even more at home here than in a usual PL setlist as vocalist Nick Holmes encourages crowd participation in the chorus.

Shallow Seasons‘ which hasn’t been played live since 1994 sounds as fresh as a day, before another live debut in the form of ‘Christendom‘ closes the set as the crowd chant; “They! Betray!” in the chorus, and before we know it, the lights fade and the band leave the stage.

Chants of ‘PARADISE LOST!!‘ start and stop, and I expected more chants and clapping before the band gracefully return to the stage. Now, I know one of the encore songs is going to be one of my all time fave PL songs and Jesus, it did not disappoint! ‘Sweetness‘ has a long affiliation with ‘Icon’ as it was released a year later on the ‘Seals The Sense EP‘, and in my opinion, should have also been part of the ‘Icon 30′ re-recording, but alas it was not meant to be. BUT to hear it live after so many years, I was one happy little goth-dude.


Just when I was content having heard a dozen or so gems, they only go and play ‘Pity The Sadness‘!! HOLY SHIT, I am now freaking out. My only hope is As I Die is not meant to be, as the band close with two much newer songs ‘No Hope In Sight’ and ‘Ghosts’, and that’s it.

An odd choice perhaps not to finish with another classic, but I guess we’ve been somewhat spoilt tonight already, and as the venue slowly empties, I am more than happy with what’s just been witnessed.

30 years is no mean feat, and Paradise Lost’sIcon’ remains iconic. Nice one lads, bloody nice one.

DJ Pennell 2023