Berking around with an orchestra in tow could be the easiest way to impress jaded metal fans – see Metallica’s bloated and flawed S&M for proof – but there’s no denying Paradise Lost have a sound that has long cried out to be fleshed out with strings and brass.
Epic drama is second nature to these doom-metal pioneers, and this document of their gig in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in September 2014 is full of wonderfully extravagant moments. Renditions of classics like Gothic and Last Regret benefit hugely from their cinematic accompaniment, the melancholy oomph of the originals reborn in celebratory bluster.
A second disc of more straightforward performances completes the deal, the ageless likes of As I Die and Just Say Words sounding somehow bigger and more affecting than before. Add this to the towering The Plague Within album from earlier in 2015 and Paradise Lost are on the form of their lives.