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Paradise Lost - Host (Reissue) Award winner

Paradise Lost
Host (Reissue)
by Kayla Hutton at 02 May 2018, 2:42 AM

On March 16th Nuclear Blast re-issued and remastered PARADISE LOST’s seventh studio album, “Host”. To mark the occasion this is the first time these songs will be available on Vinyl offered in three colors; black, clear, and mint. PARADISE LOST began their journey in West Yorkshire. The band was formed in 1988 and their first studio release, “Lost Paradise”, was released in 1990. Followed up with “Gothic”, “Shades of God” and “Icon”, these albums had a dark, melancholic death metal sound. Nick Holmes at the time was known for a James Hetfield style bark with a death grunt vocal style. PARADISE LOST was then classified as Gothic Death Metal due to the use of a piano with a doom metal pace. The release of “Draconian Times” offered some experimental vocal styles that were welcomed by the more mainstream, yet still really dark, music. “One Second” was a good indicator that a change was on the horizon. However, I doubt anyone had a clue the change would be so drastic. It seemed to be a trend of the times as not only did PARADISE LOST abandon the death vocal style but alongside them so did TIAMAT and KATATONIA. Due to the directional change of “One Second” not too many stuck around for 1999’s “Host.

Host” combined other instruments such as piano, synth, pre-programmed percussive beats, and strings. My argument to naysayers is this, nothing brings about the true feeling of tragedy like an orchestra. The single for “So Much is Lost” had 2 alternate versions of the track, one being a strings version, sure enough, to satisfy the appetite of any sorrow seeking doom fan. “Host” was more expansive, offering an understandable definition to atmospheric dark music. While labeled as a form of “synth pop” and compared to DEPECHE MODE, a real listen to “Host” will prove it’s far from Synth Pop. The lyrics questioned God, existence, frustration, loss, and death. “Host” is rather brilliantly constructed, well written, and features the use of guitar effects, that at the time, had an “outside of the box” approach. The implementation of newer technology also raised the bar in audio quality and gave “Host” a pristine sound. While the music may sound more simplistic the arrangements were more intricate and left no room for error.

Now that PARADISE LOST have returned to their older sound stylings and pulled away from the experimental days of “Host” and “Believe in Nothing”, newer fans may be hesitant to listen. Fear not. While they are more electronic and not heavy by any means, these albums boasted some outstanding dark downtempo arrangements that still have the doom and dread signature that is PARADISE LOST. For the old fans, it’s time to revise the collection with a remaster. Give it a listen and “celebrate good times of change.”- (“In all Honesty”)

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. So Much is Lost
2. Nothing Sacred
3. In All Honesty
4. Harbour
5. Ordinary Days
6. It's Too Late
7. Permanent Solution
8. Behind the Grey
9. Wreck
10. Made the Same
11. Deep
12. Year of Summer
13. Host
Nick Holmes - Vocals
Greg Mackintosh - Lead Guitar
Aaron Aedy - Rhythm Guitar
Steve Edmondson - Bass Guitar
Lee Morris - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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Edited 31 January 2023

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