Many have known Paradise Lost for their more Gothic, Death and Doom Metal proclivities since their debut ‘Lost Paradise’ from 1990, leading up to 2017’s ‘Medusa.’ However, not many people were completely aware of the drastic change that would be commenced in their seventh full-length record entitled ‘Host’, which has now been remastered and due for a reissue through Nuclear Blast. With the reissue due for a release in mid-March, we decided to look back at this record and see how it stands out to this day, after nearly two decades since its release.
Instead of their signature Death-Doom and Gothic Metal sound, Paradise Lost went in with an unexpectedly left-field approach that consisted of Synthpop, Dark Wave, Industrial, electronic rock music and some mild traces of Gothic rock. Compared to the original pressing of the 1999 record, the remastered counterpart of ‘Host’ is rather refreshing to listen to. The audio is slightly clearer and the sonic elements that were transmitted from a late 90s to 2010s era feel almost like it’s a new LP in itself. Not to mention, tracks such as So Much is Lost and Permanent Solution do remain as standouts and fan favourites to this day, despite the mixed responses that were given to ‘Host’ during the time of its release.
Though it does seem like a strange LP for those that tend to grasp the main sonic fingerprint of the band’s music, the songwriting and down-tempo ambience is powerful. Paradise Lost may have ditched the Death-Doom category, but the dark aura that’s delivered from their earlier material leading up to ‘Host’ is still there. Even from that album onward, Paradise Lost have been able to keep track of the malevolent and also serene side of their character all the way up to ‘Medusa.’ That being said, ‘Host’ just so happens to be the result of something catchier and experimental, simultaneously. It isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, ‘Host’ seemed to have been the overlooked rarity that innovated Paradise Lost’s status from back in the day up to the current year.
Mind you, Paradise Lost are not the only band to have taken risks with an album that focused on a different take of the band’s sound. Some artists that committed that same action ended up facing a whirlwind of negative reviews, and some received positive remarks. ‘Host’ was almost lodged in the centre, but roughly 60% towards the affirmative side from the fans and critics. Some fans have referred to this album as “Depeche Lost,” due to its Synthpop nature. But if you’ve got an open mind and appreciate bands like Depeche Mode or Tears for Fears, you’d find yourself to be rather fond of what Paradise Lost did as a one-off thing for the entirety of ‘Host.’ Some fans often place this on the lower end of the list for Paradise Lost, whereas some are able to appreciate what they had done for ‘Host.’ As someone who was a fan of their last four LPs, I’m also able to rather admire the work that was put into ‘Host,’ and hopefully, long-time fans or even newcomers to Paradise Lost will become flexible with the remastering of this piece.
THE REMASTERED ‘HOST’ BY PARADISE LOST WILL BE RELEASED MARCH 16TH. PRE-ORDER HERE!