HOST

(UNITED KINGDOM)

IX

(2023)
LABEL:

NUCLEAR BLAST

GENRE:

GOTHIC METAL

TAGS:
80's, Electro, Melancholic
"Did you like Paradise Lost's "Host" and "Believe In Nothing"? Then you'll love "Xi" from Host, the new project from Nick Holmes and Greg Mackintosh!"
CHILDERIC THOR (25.05.2023)  
4/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
A little background: while "Icon" (1993) and above all "Draconian Times" (1995) established them as one of the most influential bands on the metal scene, with "One Second" (1997) Paradise Lost began a more commercial, if not more accessible, turn. While the band continued to enjoy success, this was less the case with "Host" (1999) and "Believe In Nothing" (2001), which more than hinted at the English band's new wave roots. Although excellent, these two albums were misunderstood and received mixed reviews. Too pop for the metalheads, they were ignored by the public who could have appreciated them for what they were.

A year later, "Symbol Of Life", a very successful album, closes this parenthesis, but the fact remains that neither guitarist Greg Mackintosh nor singer Nick Holmes have totally renounced this part of their identity to which they remain very attached, as illustrated by Host, their new project, which could not find a more aptly ironic name than the title of this unloved record. 

Designed to allow its progenitors to quench their thirst for new wave and electro sounds, "IX" is of course aimed first and foremost at those who liked "Host" and "Believe In Nothing". But we'd be remiss if we didn't invite others to take a closer look at this trial run, as they'll find the unchanging quality standards of the British pair immediately recognizable, from Holmes's magnificent, moving clear vocals to the science of icy, hypnotic melody, not forgetting the discreet but essential arrangements ('Wretched Soul') and the sullen melancholy of the North Sea.

Reduced to the two inseparable companions, Host delivers ten jewel-like songs, each more unstoppable (in its genre) than the last. Most of them beat with an electronic pulse, others would not be out of place on a Paradise Lost album ('Year Of Suspicion'), while Depeche Mode is never far away ('Tomorrow's Sky'). The lines are sometimes quite harsh ('Hiding From Tomorrow') and Mackintosh's elegant guitar doesn't fail to express itself. So you'd have to be deaf or of very bad faith not to be seduced by this impeccable "Xi", which is flawless throughout, and for which you'll have to look in vain for the slightest weakness.

In the end, what's most impressive about this record is not so much how well it holds up - the English never really disappoint - as the insolent ease with which they've returned to their most disparaged past after so many years of drilling an ever blacker mine, whether with Paradise Lost, Bloodbath (for Nick Holmes) or Strigoi (for Greg Mackintosh). It's as if "Believe In Nothing" wasn't recorded twenty-two years ago, but almost yesterday.

Times have changed, and it's not impossible that "Host" will be more enthusiastically received than the two distant predecessors that served as its matrix, especially as it doesn't bear the name Paradise Lost. It remains to be seen what the future holds for this parallel project. 
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
DEPECHE MODE, PARADISE LOST

TRACK LISTING:
01. Wretched Soul
02. Tomorrow’s Sky
03. Divine Emotion
04. Hiding From Tomorrow
05. A Troubled Mind
06. My Only Escape
07. Years Of Suspicion
08. Inquisition

LINEUP:
Greg Mackintosh: Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie
Nick Holmes: Chant
   
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TOWNSEND LE DEVIN
13/09/2023
 
531
0
Énorme électro gothique qui se bonifie avec le temps
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READERS
4.7/5 (3 view(s))
STAFF:
3.7/5 (3 view(s))
MY RATING
 
 
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