Once upon a time there was the Holy English Triad of gothic death doom, maximum expression of a movement that has produced through its best exponents a series of masterpieces that have heavily marked the history of the darkest metal of the early ’90s. The first to abandon the tenzone were Anathema, releasing in 1996 the pinkfloydian Eternity, a beautiful album that was followed by the magnificent Alternative 4 and then by the equally valid Judgement, to arrive finally to the final detachment from metal occurred with A Fine Day To Exit. In 1998 even the most orthodox of the trio, My Dying Bride, tried to include electronic elements in their sound with a strange but not deplorable record like 34.788%… Complete, but then they hastily retraced their steps with the following The Light At The End Of The World and continued to churn out in series other good works, culminating with the beautiful and latest Feel The Misery, in 2015. Before what their fellow citizens did, already in 1997 Paradise Lost, for their part, had given a turn to their sound by releasing One Second, an album that was pervaded by a hitherto unsuspected fascination for the work of the award-winning company Gore / Gahan, but that had provided in my opinion a very intriguing result, thanks to a series of inspired songs (including perhaps what can be considered the real hit of the band of Halifax, Say Just Words) as well as decidedly disorienting towards purists. And then we come to 1999, the year in which the controversial Host is published: playing with the names of the bands, if One Second could be defined as a record by Paradise Mode, this last birth was more reasonably attributable to the hypothetical Depeche Lost, since every metal pulse was almost gone, replaced by an obscure electro-gothic rather watered down. Yes, because beyond the inability of many fans to accept the fact that a band may have every right to experiment with new solutions and embrace different styles, the problem of Host was fundamentally the fact of being a weak work, lacking in really driving songs (personally I save only the darker In All Honesty and Deep) so that, at that point, lost for lost, it was convenient to go and retrieve the work of the founders of the genre rather than listen to a faded and unconvincing copy represented by Paradise Lost. In the light of this long premise, it seems definitely bizarre the fact that, shortly after the release of Medusa, one of the heaviest and doom albums of their discography, they decided to remaster what, in fact, is the antithesis from the stylistic point of view as well as qualitative (by the way, if they really wanted/needed to do it for commercial or contractual reasons, wasn’t it better to wait at least for the twentieth anniversary that would have fallen next year?). Now, it must be said that in the era of acrobatic revisionism, the one that pushes the most forgetful to rewrite and distort history to their own use and consumption, I would not be surprised to find someone who wants to rehabilitate Host (I refer only to the album, Paradise Lost certainly do not need to be rehabilitated, but if anything they should be thanked for what has been their career as a whole); I tried to listen to it again with the secret hope of catching something that maybe I had missed at the time of its release, but I must admit that I was bored from the first to the last note exactly as it happened to me in 1999. To conclude the historical retrospective, it should be added that Mackintosh and members have found the high road of a sound more appropriate to them only with the release of the self-titled album in 2005, the real beginning of a gradual rebirth culminated with an album inspired and worthy of the blazon of the band as the recent Medusa. Needless to add that if someone has some euros left over, it’s better to invest them differently, relegating Host to the oblivion reserved for unsuccessful albums that even the best bands happen to produce.
2018 – Nuclear Blast