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4.5 out of 5 stars14
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 September 2005
The first thing I will say is anyone who is interested in music of any form, must be able to appreciate other forms of music to know whether a piece is good or bad. Therefore, listen with an open mind.
I am a big fan of these boys and have been since I enjoyed their first tour with 'Lost Paradise'. Due to this, it was a bit of a shock when I heard 'Host' with its synthesized base of seemingly pop music. However, this is far from pop music. The hallmark of Paradise Lost is clear through the vocals and overall feel of the music. Also, 'Host' is a beautifully composed and arranged piece which has the effect of seducing your senses to ultimate enjoyment. In my opinion, there isn't a bad track on the album, each just as good as the next. The lyrical content is intelligent, accommpanied by music that contains a great deal of feeling which consequently makes 'Host' so compelling.
On a final note, the boys said that this was something they just wanted to do. To me it is an illustration of just how good metal musicians are when they are able to churn out the heavy stuff we all love, then use a little imagination and creativity to do something totally different.
This is Paradise Lost and unless you have tunnel vision and unable to stray from the path, you will undoubtedly enjoy 'Host'.
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on 3 June 2004
I bought this album when it came out and more or less forgot about it. It didn't bother me that they had gone eletronic, because much of the music I listened to at time was.
still, it didn't feel like the PL I wanted. There was however some songs on it that didn't leave my head like NOTHING SACRED and SO MUCH IS LOST and ORDINARY DAYS. Depeche Mode?'s Paradise Lost. At the time, people who loved DM would easily say.."oh it's a Depeche mode rip off" But as that is not at all accurate..that kind of talk has died down eventually. This cd wasn't the PL album I listened a lot to, but I picked it up recently..and I was blown away. I thought it was a rather weak album...but it's so far from the truth as it could possibly be. More or less all the songs holds a very high quality. It's sad we weren't ready for this when it first came out, because this might as well be their best album ever.
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on 21 March 2000
The album was launched to much debate from magazines with most in the rock community feeling that Paradise Lost had moved so far that they could no longer be considered Metal. Although I don't agree with the arguement, fans of the old Paradise Lost may be a little stunned at what sounds are contained on this CD. Gone are the death metal groans of the first four albums, gone are the guitars and shouting of Draconian Times, and gone are most of the guitar and rifts of One second, so whats left, probably their greatest and most atmospheric album ever. Written according to Holmes around the time of his fathers death, it casts a doomed look over life that really comes through in the music and lyrics. Every song is strong especially the opener, So much is lost, Behind the grey, Deep, but as atmosphere and words of meaning go the standout song of the album has to be, It's too late, which includes some female vocals that are just outstanding and set the song apart from the rest of the album. If ever an album deserved more than five stars I would award it to this one.
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on 8 June 2012
The album prior to this, One Second, was noted for its vast shift in tone away from PL's doom and metal beginnings. Host was more than simply a shift, it was a dimension-jump. More a paradigmatic adjacent side-step into a different genre of music altogether, Host was a brave effort, albeit one that cost them dearly at the time as fans voted with their wallets. This was a shame (but one I admit to making also) as taken out of context Host is a starkly beautiful album with not one track lacking in quality. But it will demand your attention like no other PL release, with the exception of their debut. Any track taken from Host and placed next to almost any other PL track from any other album will seem out of place. This is not metal, or Goth, or Doom, or Industrial, or alternative or even rock really. Host exists in a kind of pseudo-electronica, alt-industrial space (for want of a category less vague or pretentious-sounding). It is soft, almost gentle, has little recognisable guitars, lots of synths and is almost impregnable. It took me at least 6 listens before I began to like it and at least 4 until any recognisable tunes appeared. It was a labour but a worthy one, as when it finally does click you'll notice how well structured the tracks are.

Opener and single, 'All Hope is Lost', is possibly one of the least exciting tracks, but it is one of the more faster paced. It sets the tone which is one of extreme melancholy and subdued distortion. It is digital and clean and awash with waves of sound. 'Nothing Sacred' is more of a pop tune but one with a chorus that only seems poppy after the 7th listen. I have to iterate now that this is NOT a pop record by any definition. It has some pop sensibilities but would appear extremely out of place on Radio 1. 'In All Honesty' is another catchy morbid lamentation with another chorus that is down-played. 'Harbour' was the hardest nut to crack. It's so mellow and almost melody-less that it was difficult to find anything to attach to. But eventually the electronic riff (of sorts) and wisp of a chorus made me surrender and accept it's greatness. 'Ordinary Day' is possibly the most upbeat and poppy song here. And in many ways it is one of the best. But it's hard to find a favourite as they are all of such equal quality. 'It's Too Late' was another difficult track to enjoy. It is the most melancholic and has another tricky to get chorus. But the melodies eventually reach the cerebellum and all becomes good. It's great.

'Permanent Solutions' is a little similar to 'Ordinary Days' insomuch as it is catchy and more upbeat than the rest. And it's another favourite. 'Behind the Gey' is possibly the most and only immediate track on the album. It is easy to like and it works very well. 'Wreck' returns to the genteel with yet another tentative chorus that, like gravity, ends up with an enormous hold on you. 'Made the Same' is back to single territory (of sorts) with a very catchy, anthemic (in a gothic kind of way) chorus. 'Deep' is dark and powerful and angular and brilliant. 'Year of Summer' is slightly more upbeat with a very good chorus, very hummable. And the title track finishes it all off in an equally gentle-yet-powerful way.

I have now learned my lesson when it comes to albums that receive bad reviews or fans dislike them. It happened with Metallica's St Anger and it happened with Host and PL's follow-up to it, Believe in Nothing. Don't believe the hype (or lack of). Always approach an album as a piece of work. Give it the time it needs (Not too much; if there's nothing after 10 listens then it IS bad). And make your own opinions, not ones from magazine critics.

I don't agree that Host is a masterpiece, far from it. In the context of all other PL albums it is one of the best but definitely not THE best. But also it doesn't really fit with any of the other PL albums as it is something so completely disconnected from their usual tone and genre. It is an experiment that worked creatively but not commercially. There are no 'classics' here, just intricate yet simple-sounding songs. And there is no filler. 13 excellent tracks. Well worth the money.

But if you ONLY like heavy metal, do not approach. This is NOT metal in any sense (Nor is it really anything like Depeche Mode apart from the use of keyboards).
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on 15 March 2000
This is by far the best album I have at the moment. If you want Goth, rock and some beats then this is the album to buy. I can't believe there is only one other review of this album on here. If I was going to recommend one album to buy then this would be it.
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on 27 January 2004
When I initially bought Host I was very disappointed. Only the opener 'So Much is Lost' seemed to connect PL with their previous work.
With the guitars all but abandoned and replaced with synthesisers it is a bold departure for a band with only a niche fanbase in the doom metal/heavy goth genre.
But the album is a grower.
With the follow up album to this (Believe in Nothing) PL build on the euro goth tones in Host and add the guitars back in so BIN is (for me) a better album, but with hindsight, Host contains some very good songs.
In addition to 'So Much is Lost'; 'In All Honesty' and 'Ordinary Days' have made it onto my list of favourite Paradise lost tracks.
Not their best, but a bold move and worth checking out.
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on 26 June 2015
As a long standing PL fan this is by far the worst album they've ever made.
As a fan of great music, this is one of the best albums I've ever heard. This is a beautiful album, and is still after all these years constantly played. I saw them tour this album and the only mistake they made was Nick Holmes singing the old stuff with a clean vocal. Thats what did the damage to the fan base, not this album.
You really need to hear Gregor Mackintosh's guitars on this album, its outstanding.
This is a hidden gem, one which the band should be very proud of and any PL fan should hear for themselves.
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on 2 December 1999
Paradise Lost were always met with drop tuned guitars and deep droaning vocals. They have punched through the old formula of what makes goth rock tick and pushed in sampled beats and produced a more modern but still "gothic" sound. If you are a lover of the old albums you may not like their new stuff but I must say I was well impressed with the quality of the tracks on this album. Songs like "deep" and "in all honesty" still keep the guitar sound but with a more fatter sound.
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on 17 March 2004
Paradise Lost loved by the rock fans pounded by the music media (Kerrang! being one!). But this album like has been said with the other reviews is a grower! Its starts of being good then simply very good then to great joy to listen to with the songs being stuck in your head all day! Highlights for me include year of summer, nothing sacred and made the same. Though this stretches the imagination its really alternative not a metal album like Paradise Lost’s other material
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on 6 January 2016
The ultimate blend of synth-rock, this is a deliciously dark album that fuses dark metal and club beats in the most extraordinary way.
Simply sublime.
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