Arguably Paradise Lost’s most controversial album ‘Host‘ has finally seen a long overdue reissue.
With the band rediscovering their own deathly roots in recent years on the critically acclaimed ’The Plague Within’ and ‘Medusa’, it is interesting to travel back to a moment in time where they could not be further removed from their current leanings.
Way back in 1999 they had confounded both friend and foe. After shattering their own status as grandmasters of gothic doom a few years earlier with the ground-breaking, yet unorthodox ‘One Second’, they upped the ante and did away with their metal pedigree altogether on the daring, yet almost unanimously scorned ‘Host’. Critics and fans alike burned their Depeche Mode like synth pop sympathies to the ground with a zeal that mirrored the outrage over Celtic Frost’s notorious faux pas ‘Cold Lake’.
In all honesty, however, to borrow one of their lyrics, the album is really not that bad. Quite the contrary. Despite being a dyed in the wool doomhead, I’ve always had a soft spot for this particular record. And there is a lot to be appreciated here if you dare to approach it with an open mind.
Nick Holmes had already experimented with different vocal styles on previous outings, but it’s only here that he had actually learned to sing properly. Likewise, it might be hard to imagine that this is the same guitarist who wrote ‘Gothic’ and would later found the crust ridden Vallenfyre, but Gregor Mackintosh’s writings are nevertheless consistently top notch and the songs still stand to this date, even though there’s nigh a note of his trademark riffing to be found on any of these melancholic slow burners. Despite the fallout the band encountered following its release, it remains a confident, bold move for a band at an undeniably creative highpoint.
The backlash, unfortunately, resulted in a series of half-hearted, half way rocking compromises like ‘Believe in Nothing’ and ‘Symbol of Life’ that nobody was truly happy with, including the band members themselves, until they were quickened once more on the reinvigorated, aptly self-titled ‘Paradise Lost’.
Release date: March 16th, 2018
Label: Nuclear Blast
1. So Much Is Lost
2. Nothing Sacred
3. In All Honesty
5. Ordinary Days
6. It’s Too Late
7. Permanent Solution
8. Behind The Grey
10. Made The Same
12. Year Of Summer