HOST (2) — IX (review)

HOST (2) — IX album cover Album · 2023 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"IX" is the debut full-length studio album by UK electronic rock duo Host. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in February 2023. After releasing their 1999 electronic rock album "Host", Paradise Lost soon returned to a more metal oriented sound, but vocalist Nick Holmes and guitarist Greg Mackintosh felt that they had more of the same type of music in them, and many years down the line they therefore formed Host.

Stylistically the material on "IX" is also a continuation of the dark and heavy electronic tinged rock music, which Paradise Lost played on their late 90s "Host" album. It´s maybe slightly more electronic tinged, but other than that "IX" is the natural successor to "Host". Holmes distinct sounding voice and melancholic (even depressive) vocals and lyrics grace the dark and heavy songs (not necessarily guitar heavy though), while Mackintosh create a melancholic backdrop of keyboards/synths/piano/programmed drums, and secondary bass and guitars. The atmosphere and mood of the music are not far removed from Paradise Lost, but of course the lack of dominant distorted guitars (although they do occur), heavy pounding drums, and growling vocals make "IX" quite a different listen. 90s Depeche Mode is a valid reference (and similar dark atmospheric electronic rock), although Host also incorporate gothic rock influences.

Lead single (and video track) "Tomorrow's Sky" is an irresistably catchy electronic rock track and one of the more upbeat energetic tracks on the album, while album opener "Wretched Soul" is a dark, heavy, and brooding track. So those are examples of different variations of the sound Host present on "IX". A track like "Hiding From Tomorrow" sounds one to one like a Paradise Lost song, with heavy guitars, so the music on the album isn´t always that far removed from the duos main project, which of course shouldn´t come as a surprise, when you know that Mackintosh and Holmes are responsible for composing most of Paradise Lost music.

Upon conclusion this is an album for those who enjoy dark electronic rock from the 90s and of course especially for fans of Paradise Lost´s "Host" (1999) album. Listening to the album I´d wish they would have pursued the style they play on "Tomorrow's Sky", because I think that shows a slightly different and new side to the Mackintosh/Holmes songwriting palette, but I´d say most of the tracks could easily have been Paradise Lost material with a little re-arrangements, and I think it´s too bad, the duo didn´t take this chance to really venture out of their comfort zone and make something a little more removed from their main project (they obviously have the skills to to it). When that is said, "IX" is still an enjoyable high quality release, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
UMUR wrote:
4 months ago
I hope so. What´s the point of releasing music under a different monicker, if the music isn´t that different from what you do in your main project...on the other hand Paradise Lost are of course doing something which is a bit more heavy these days.
Tupan wrote:
4 months ago
You're right, songs like "Divine Emotion" and My Only Escape" sounds exactly like Paradise Lost! But who knows, maybe in a next album they go more for that upbeat synth sound of "Tomorrow's Sky"


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Nameless Cry Folk Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
At Glory's End Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
A Dream Of Sailing (Live At Garret) Melodic Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
Rebirth Deathcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Tuatha de Danann - United
Tupan· 1 day ago
Tuatha de Danann- The Nameless
Tupan· 1 day ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us