Nuclear Blast [Release date 16.03.18]
‘Host’ was Paradise Lost’s seventh album and was originally released in 1999 on major label EMI. It certainly caused a major stir amongst their fans at the time with its electro/synth led sound, a far cry from the band’s previous albums and their gothic/doom metal sound.
Singer Nick Holmes commented: ”With the ‘Host’ album we wanted to take the ‘One Second’ concept further and make a very dark album with even more subtlety. It was a bold leap from all our previous albums, a leap too far some would say, but for me, the new remastered version really shows it’s still one of the band’s strongest albums in terms of song writing, atmosphere and sheer misery.”
Songs like ‘In All Honesty’ and ‘Nothing Sacred’ give Depeche Mode a run for their money and if given a decent chance of airplay both could have been crossover hits back then. Guitarist Gregor Macintosh may have had little in the way of guitar duties, however he excelled on the keyboards and string arrangements on the album.
‘Permanent Solution’ highlights the melodic singing style of Nick Holmes (who is back to his heavier style on the band’s latest album ‘Medusa’ which was released last year) and the synths/programming of Gregor Macintosh – both really hit the spot on this one.
If there is a little niggle with the album it is the pace of some of the songs is very similar.
Personally I have always enjoyed Paradise Lost’s synth/gothic pop phase and ‘Host’ deserves a re-visit now it has been remastered and gets a vinyl release for the first time. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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Power Plays w/c 3 December 2018
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