This is the debut album from UK dark/Gothic rock band Host.
Brought to us by the singer and guitarist of Paradise Lost, IX contains 42 minutes of electronically enhanced dark/Gothic rock. Imagine, if you will, a cross between Paradise Lost’s Host album, (and parts of the other albums surrounding this one), and the 80s Goth and New Wave scenes, and you’ll be on the right lines. It’s a spiritual successor of sorts to Host, albeit one that’s taken to its logical conclusion with the increased capabilities of modern technology and greater experience from the people involved.
IX‘s tracks offer haunting vistas of textured electronic darkness for the listener to lose themselves in. Sometimes slow and moody, sometimes upbeat and imbued with dancefloor energy, the songs are always full of feeling and Gothic character.
The music is brought to life through the skilful layering of orchestration, keyboards, guitars, and synths. These ingredients are frequently subtle and nuanced affairs, only gaining true substance when combined and merged together so that the songs take shape and colour. Less subtle and layered, (although not completely bereft of these attributes), are the drums and vocals, which provide additional structures and points of interest for the listener to immerse themselves in.
Taken as a whole, the songs are well-crafted pieces with many hooks and memorable moments to hold the listener’s attention throughout. IX is a hymn to the 1980s, yet still has contemporary worth and delivers more than simple homage.