Paradise Lost
Host


3.3
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
September 2nd, 2018 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All of my life is changing, always some rearranging.

In the history of metal, there are only a handful of bands that have not only redefined themselves at the peak of their commercial success, but defined and redefined an entire era. After influencing countless doom/death acts with their early material, Paradise Lost created the gothic metal blueprint on Icon and recorded their own version of Black Album with Draconian Times. However, being the inquiring minds that they are, the Halifax outfit’s members decided to eliminate entirely their doom elements and on One Second they focused on a more Depeche Mode-oriented sound. Nevertheless, their 1997 release was received favorably by metal fans and press alike, albeit with a slight grunt, something that didn’t happen with Host. The reason was that with their 7th LP, the Brits moved the needle a bit more towards synth-pop by getting rid of their gothic soundscapes and by using various guitar effects which resulted in an album that lacked metal guitars in their classic sense.

Of course, their move to a multinational record label (EMI) and the fact that they cooperated with producer Steve Lyon who had also worked with – guess who – Depeche Mode, didn’t help either. As a result, it didn’t take time before metal publications and eventually metalheads started accusing Paradise Lost of writing dance music and eventually, calling them sell-outs. However, this was far from true as Host is easily one of Paradise Lost’s most miserable efforts (with some of Nick Holmes’ saddest lyrics) and, as expected, alienated their fans while not attracting new ones. Of course, Host is not a metal album by any means, as it features electronic elements, keyboard sounds instead of traditional guitars, programmed drums and vocals which bring to mind Dave Gahan or even Neil Arthur (Blancmange). Their One Second gothic ambiance a la The Sisters of Mercy, gave way to a more urban/industrial aesthetic, courtesy of Steve Lyon. There are some really nice melodies scattered throughout on tracks like “Ordinary Days”, “Nothing Sacred”, “Made the Same” and of course, “So Much is Lost”. The memorable vocal lines and Holmes’ prominent vocals which sometimes drive the songs, are other important elements of the LP as well. However, the album does sound a bit samey at times, the slower tracks do seem as they drag a bit too much and the album feels a bit longer than it actually is.

Eventually, Host was a successful expansion of Paradise Lost’s sound which of course has its flaws. At the same time, it is more than just a simple album as it encapsulates one of the elements that made the ‘90s a magical era for music, which is none other than experimentation. In a time where bands were striving to progress and release diverse material, the then former doom/deathsters inspired numerous acts to expand, differentiate and create some of their most interesting material. As a metalhead, Host is not even remotely one of my favorite Lost releases but as a fan of music, I will always support the existence of albums like this one.



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user ratings (235)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Long overdue review.

Digging: Dio - Magica

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


8016 Comments


Good review, as always.

Have you heard the remaster? Does it sound better?

Digging: Suffering Quota - Life In Disgust

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks, Voi.



Actually no, but I remember reading a review when the remaster came out stating that it sounds too compressed. But I really can't say myself.

EvoHavok
September 2nd 2018


7652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, this finally happened, and there's none better at the task than manos.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


8016 Comments


I have the first edition of this album, but whenever I spin it, I can't go past the third track.

There, I confessed.

That said, "So Much Is Lost" is great track.

EvoHavok
September 2nd 2018


7652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The remaster sounds more modern and certain details pop out more, but it's not that much of a difference in dynamic range except for the track "It's Too Late".

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/9820 (original) vs http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/151854 (remaster)

I compared the waveforms for the opener as well: https://i.imgur.com/lvuxVR3.png (original above, remaster below)

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Cheers, Evo. Always happy to see you around!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


4637 Comments


Great review! From their less successful albums/era, I only listened to Symbol of Life as I bought it in a store here (it was on sale). That was an unexpectedly solid album and made me curious to hear Host and Believe in Nothing as well. I have to check out these re-issues asap.

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks, Raul. Yeah Symbol of Life is solid albeit different than this one. I actually prefer Symbol as it's definitely more metal than this one and contains elements from their Icon/Draconian Times days.

EvoHavok
September 2nd 2018


7652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Symbol of Life is the best from the electronic era, as it takes some of the best parts of the three records before it, while returning to the gothic metal sound and adding some industrial elements. Honestly, it's a very underrated record in their discography overall.

Sabrutin
September 2nd 2018


5766 Comments


aaaaaaa Mano you did something much appreciated today! I haven't read it yet but we agree on the rating. I like this album, really like a few songs in particular, it deserves more love. I especially like In All Honesty.

Azog
September 2nd 2018


79 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

horrible

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks, Sab. Wish I had more time to review stuff like this one that needs a review. I have a couple of older albums on my list as well. Hope you enjoy the review.

Sabrutin
September 2nd 2018


5766 Comments


I did! I'm glad this album got an amicable review. In 2017/18 I binged hard on the discography so atm I'm burn-out, but Host has a unique freshness.

I gave a shot to the remaster through Spotify but it seemed basically same as the original to my ears, just a little less crisp drum beat here and there perhaps (didn't spend too much time on it though)?

"I can't go past the third track."
Noooooo In All Honesty is one of my favorite PL songs haha. Admiteddly not for the songwriting; I simply really vibe with Holmes' vocals and lyrics there. The "anticipate great times of change" slapped me.

Ocean of Noise
September 2nd 2018


10349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool choice for a review. This album is great.

Digging: The 3rd and the Mortal - Tears Laid in Earth

TheNotrap
September 3rd 2018


9302 Comments


I didn't pay attention to their Depeche Mode era back in the day, but it's always interesting when an artist doesn't play it safe.

Nice review, as always.

Digging: Burning Witches - Hexenhammer

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Absolutely dude. Ant thanks, always glad to see you checking my reviews buddy.

deslad
October 14th 2018


624 Comments


Great review manos. I am not so sure I am going to enjoy it though, so perhaps I should skip this one.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2018


11313 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

haha yeah, if you're into Depeche Mode feel free to give it a shot, otherwise skip it.



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