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PARADISE LOST

Current Members

Past Members

Studio Session Members

Biography

A Halifax Heavy Metal band, replete with Gothic overtones and a trademark "bleak" outlook on life, that has gradually diverted into more mainstream territory to increasing commercial success. PARADISE LOST started life as a Death Metal act and, since their inception in 1988, the group have gained a huge reputation in Europe, where all of their albums have sold strongly. Their campaigning in Europe, and in particular Germany, exposed the band to increasing Dark Wave elements, which would impact upon the band's sound.

The band's opening gig was secured by their debut demo, the 1988 single track rehearsal recording 'Morbid Existence', given to Bradford's Frog and Toad pub. Proceeds from their second demo were used to finance their first two European gigs in Holland. Further demo cassettes ensued, in 1989's 'Frozen Illusion' and 'Pain Of Desolation'.

Securing a contract with the newly established local imprint Peaceville Records, PARADISE LOST laid down their opening album tracks throughout the winter of 1989 at Academy Studios in Bradford, label boss Hammy manning the control desk to score a production credit. Kay Field contributed female vocals to the track 'Breeding Fear'. 'Lost Paradise''s eminence in a sea of international Death Metal was hung on the unusually brooding, near doom nature of the band's approach and the conviction of Holmes' narrative, especially his unorthodox lyrical delivery. This latter trait would come to serve the band well, often being the focal point of fans obsession. In keeping with this less than conventional slant, the group's second offering came that same June with the 12" EP 'In Dub', hosting two radically remixed album tracks. The year was capped by the issue of a live video, 'Live Death', filmed at the Bradford Queens Hall in November 1989.

Capitalising on this solid progress PARADISE LOST was rushed back into Academy Studios in November 1990, working with engineer Keith Appleton to cut a second album. March 1991's 'Gothic' album, also on Peaceville Records, secured the band chart placings across Europe, in particular selling large quantities in Germany. The album once again expanded beyond the traditional Death Metal format, employing The Raptured Symphony Orchestra and female singer Sarah Marrion. Assuredly, Gothic catalysed the genre that would follow in its wake, the album's authority spawning legions of imitators.

Once live work had been concluded, PARADISE LOST switched labels to the larger independent concern Music For Nations. The group released the 'Shades Of God' album in July 1992. Produced by Simon Effemy at Longhome Studios in Northampton and including keyboards from Robert John Godfrey of eccentric Progressive Rock outfit THE ENID and a return for Sarah Marrion, it was a record which was to pull the band out of the underground and into the mainstream. Until this juncture PARADISE LOST's triumphs had all been on mainland Europe, even the UK had not truly recognised the band. 'Shades Of God' provided the vehicle to make their presence felt at home and across the world. Regular vinyl versions of the album came minus the track 'As I Die', backed by outtakes 'Rape Of Virtue' and the group's first attempt at a cover version in ATOMIC ROOSTER's 'Death Walks Behind You', the song chosen for a single release in April 1993.

In 1993 PARADISE LOST undertook their first tour of North America supporting MORBID ANGEL and KREATOR. That summer the band commenced work on their fourth full-length opus, 'Icon', utilising Jacobs Studios and retaining Simon Effemy as producer. Female vocals were this time contributed by Denise Bernard whilst Andrew Holdsworth supplied keyboard embellishments. 'Icon', released in September 1993 hit the national German charts at number 31. To close the year the band put in openers in the UK to Brazil's SEPULTURA.

To usher in 1994 the band and producer Simon Effemy retreated to the confines of Academy Studios in January, assembling tracks that saw issue as the EP 'Seals The Sense' in February. In May the group appeared at the AEROSMITH headlined 'Rock Am Ring' festival in Germany to over 80'000 people. By mid 1994 PARADISE LOST were outselling METALLICA in Germany, surely helped by the popularity of the 'Harmony Breaks' video, which secured a number 19 position in the national German video charts. The 'In Dub' songs, along with a previously unheard variant of 'The Painless', was put out in June by Peaceville as the 'Gothic EP'.

Toward the end of 1994 PARADISE LOST were already working on the follow-up to 'Icon', although the stability of the unit was broken when they parted company with drummer Matt Archer. By Christmas, ex-MARSHALL LAW and LIFE man Lee Morris found himself on the drum stool. Fans had the first opportunity to sample the new band when the single 'The Last Time', emerged in May 1995. Notably a cover version had been included, a take on THE SISTERS OF MERCY's 'Walk Away'. The group performed British warm up dates around this release under the guise of THE PAINLESS.

The album 'Draconian Times' arrived in June. For this record the band and Simon Effemy had used Great Linford Manor studios. A limited edition digipack offered a second complimentary disc dubbed 'Live Tracks, Demos & B-Sides', comprising five live recordings as well as demos and outtakes. They would tour hard promoting the new record 'Draconian Times', taking in new territories such as Australia, Japan, South America and Mexico and putting in a headlining appearance at the Dynamo Festival in Holland for good measure. Once the touring had been fulfilled, 'Draconian Times' was proudly boasting over one million worldwide sales. Relativity Records had licensed the record for the USA, although the group did not tour there to promote it.

After a lengthy spell away from the public eye, PARADISE LOST would re-emerge in 1997 with a newly shorn look and a radically different new The opening release of the year would be the 'True Belief' single, this hosting an interpretation of THE SMITHS 'How Soon Is Now'.The album, July's 'One Second', despite notwithstanding any drop in heaviness, drew heavily on more diverse artists in the gothic mould. Ironically, the album turned out to be the band's most important release. 'One Second' cracked the national German and Swedish top tens and gave PARADISE LOST a boost everywhere it seemed except the UK. Longstanding fans condemned the fresh image and discarding of their Doom / Death roots, this protest being felt in a rather lowly UK chart entry. Subsequent touring found the band concentrating on the European market, but British dates were slotted in during January 1998.

Now a significant force in Europe, even enjoying headline festival positions, PARADISE LOST took a step up to a major label by contracting with EMI Electrola in Germany for their next musical chapter, 'Host'. The record, produced by Simon Lyon, was delivered in May 1999. Both visually and musically PARADISE LOST, plunging headlong into electro-rock, had now completely shed any vestiges of their extreme metal past. 'Host' performed well across the continent, peaking at number 4 in Germany, but only managed a humble 61 in the UK.

PARADISE LOST returned with the John Fryer produced 'Believe In Nothing' album, rectifying the sparse guitar quota of 'Host' somewhat, in February of 2001. Japanese versions of the album, issued on the Toshiba EMI label, came complete with no less than three extra tracks namely 'Sway', 'Gone' and 'Waiting For God'.

The band would tour Germany in March, where once more the band had achirved a high chart placing, co-headlining with Gothic veterans THE SISTERS OF MERCY. The same year noted German Gothic Rock act LOVE LIKE BLOOD covered 'True Belief' for their covers album 'Chronology Of A Love Affair'. In band downtime Lee Morris hooked up with his former MARSHALL LAW comrade vocalist Andy Pyke, EXCALIBUR and HARDWARE guitarist Paul Solynskyj and ex SLAMMER guitarist Milo Zavenic, touting a METALLICA tribute band DAMAGE INC. for a tour of Holland.

PARADISE LOST announced the signature of a new label contract with the G.U.N. label in May of 2002, setting to work on a new record, provisionally entitled 'Deus' (subsequently switched to 'Symbol Of Life'), with producer Rhys Fulber. Early reports revealed the band had demoed cover versions of BRONSKI BEAT's Small Town Boy' (one in a long line of Gothic bands to have covered this track) and DEAD CAN DANCE's 'Xavier'. The 'Symbol Of Life' album garnered another hit in Germany for the band, capitalised on by headline dates throughout Europe in February of 2003. Scandinavian dates had the band packaged with WITHIN TEMPTATION and LITHIUM. PARADISE LOST also announced North American tour dates for January 2003, billed as the '4 Absent Friends Tour', allied with OPETH and TAPPING THE VEIN. UK shows in March saw the continuation of the alliance with TAPPING THE VEIN, also adding KILLING MIRANDA to the bill.

Following a run of September European headline shows the band united with AMORPHIS lost for Scandinavian dates in October. Closing a nine year tenure, PARADISE LOST parted ways with drummer Lee Morris in March of 2004, the ex-member soon getting back into the studio to session for MARSHALL LAW. The band would enter the recording studio with producer Rhys Fulber in April and announce the addition of Jeff Singer, a man holding credits across the Manchester area with acts ranging from MARQUESA, VERRA CRUZ, RED SHIFT, CHINA BEACH, KILL II THIS, CITY OF GOD, BLAZE and KILL II THIS, as their new sticksman the following month. Backing vocals came courtesy of TAPPING THE VEIN singer Heather Thompson.

As PARADISE LOST geared up toward a new album launch, simply billed 'Paradise Lost' and issued via G.U.N. Records in February 2005, live activity commenced in December 2004 with a string of European and Scandinavian shows. However, the band was forced to withdraw from Spain's 'Atarfe Vega Rock' festival when Gregor Mackintosh was hospitalised with a burst appendix. Live dates in Europe saw the band gaining the valuable support slot to JUDAS PRIEST in April, but the band withdrew from these due to concerns over Mackintosh's health. Subsequent headline European gigs saw Israeli act ORPHANED LAND as support. Ex-drummer Lee Morris joined the ranks of AOR outfit TEN in September 2005. A notable gig on 17th September saw PARADISE LOST headlining a festival in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti city square, performed without Greg Mackintosh, who was recuperating in England after recently undergoing surgery. Mackintosh also missed the final dates in Moscow, supported by DARK PRINCESS, St. Petersburg, Bucharest and Sofia to have a second operation.

Whilst in pre-production with producer Rhys Fulber during August the band announced signature to Century Media Records. Album sessions were conducted in Canada with final mixing delegated to Mike Frase. PARADISE LOST co-headlined alongside OPETH in the UK during November 2006.

2007 opened with PARADISE LOST setting 'In Requiem' as the title of their eleventh album for a delivery in May. Preceding the album was a European CD single entitled 'The Enemy' released in May. This hosted an exclusive non-album song 'Godless'. A limited edition boxed version added two exclusive bonus cuts with a cover version of the EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL hit 'Missing' and 'Silent In Heart'. The Japanese version included these two extra songs but also augmented the track list further with 'Sons Of Perdition'. Another limited variant came with a box containing four 7" vinyl singles, the three extra bonus songs plus the regular CD album and a poster.

The group supported NIGHTWISH on their October and November US dates. To coincide Century Media put out the DVD 'Over The Madness - The Story Of Paradise Lost'. This set featured the promotional video for 'Over The Madness', rehearsal footage from Thessaloniki in Greece during January 2006, plus a documentary on the band including interviews with Cristina Scabbia of LACUNA COIL and Barney Greenway from NAPALM DEATH.

In May 2008 PARADISE LOST launched the CD + DVD live set 'The Anatomy Of Melancholy'. Drummer Jeff Singer exited in August. For album recordings early the following year at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden ith producer Jens Bogren, the band employed Peter Damin from Swedish act SECOND SKY on drums.

The band performed at the inaugural 'Hammerfest' festival, sharing the stage with SEPULTURA, SAXON, OPETH and CATHEDRAL, held at Pontins, Prestatyn Sands, Wales in April 2009.

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