" A w a k e n i n g t
h e W o r l d "
Sporting face/body paint,
Manowar-esque lyrics and the fury of a ten ton elephant in
their top notch Power Metal song writing, Lost Horizon have
arrived on the Metal scene with a no holds barred attitude.
Rightfully so. Their music is a unique blend of
Manowar/Stratovarius/Iced Earth and many other different
styles of bands to create their own creative sound. Easily a
highlight of 2001, and now, the play by play.
Play by Play:
Winds howl, lightning
cracks, distant noises rage, a keyboard backdrop opens and
then the scream of a lone Warrior shouting something in
regards to "Hey! The Quickening... ." This is the brief
opening track called "the Quickening." This leads in to a full
Metal assault titled "Heart of Storm." The beginning is
reminiscent of a more melodic oriented Judas Priest. It's
evident right from the get-go that this is a BAND. The rhythm
section of Martin Furangen (bass) and Christian Nyquist
(drums) provide a tight foundation for Wojtek Lisicki's
(guitar) driving guitar riffs and Daniel Heiman's excellent
vocals. Throw in the apparent, yet not overbearing, keyboard
accompaniment and that seems to put a nice little cherry on
top of this kick ass Metal sundae! I love the range and style
of Daniel's voice; mid range, high notes,
gang vocals.....so far he has all I desire in a vocalist! The
guitar rhythms and the songwriting in general is also right up
my alley. Kind of a hybrid of Manowar, Iced Earth and any top
breed of Power Metal that's out there. They have an added
flare to their music though which I can't quite put my finger
on to give you the reason. This track is definitely won me
over so far and if the rest of the album is this high a
caliber then this will easily become one of my favorite albums
of the year. The lyrics remind me of Manowar a lot. "Sworn in
the Metal Wind" definitely has an Iced Earth vibe happening as
it opens up except with a piercing vocal intro! LOVE IT! This
just may top the last song for me already! A hint of
Stratovarius is evident, an aggressive version of Stratovarius
meets Manowar. Man, I love hearing refreshing new bands like
this. They are going to get a lot of crap from some people for
their lyrics on this song. It's kind of cheesy, as in Manowar
cheese. Example: "Hey man! What is this?! Sounds like wail of
a wimp, did you let loser side take command?!" or maybe this
line; "If you once tasted treason from a female - leave that!
Every warrior has a gash on his sword, don't forget you are
metal, not some ass-kissing whore, take some under your wings,
but she must kiss the ring!" Hehehe, definitely cool for a
chuckle. I can see some Metalheads not looking past the lyrics
though and failing to hear the ass kicking Metal that's going
on here. These are top notch Power Metal rhythms with this
band! I also love the dual guitar riffs in this band. Cool
bass line in this song after the second chorus that leads in
to a REAL cool change in the guitar line. Lisicki's solo
playing is quite catchy. Lisicki seems to write most of the
music and lyrics for Lost Horizon which is damn fine with me.
I don't care if the lyrics do hit Manowar mode at times, or
the fact that their names and face paint "get-ups" aren't the
"norm." These guys could dress up as transvestites and come
out singing about Mary Poppins for all I care! With music like
this, I'll look past that! I recently heard that Lost Horizon
added a keyboardist and second guitarist (whether just for
touring or for studio as well I don't know) so it should be
cool to see these songs come to life as they are on this album
instead of the watered down versions of them. Again, I have to
comment on Lisicki's solos. He is definitely a shredder when
he wants to be but he knows how to slow down and be melodic
and solo with passion as well. Makes the music of Lost Horizon
all the better. "The Song of Air" is another brief
instrumental track clocking in at under 1:00. It's all
keyboards and isn't really that amazing, I imagine it's mainly
here to provide a transition into "World Through My Fateless
Eyes." This tracks cranks back in to the Metal. Double bass
and chuck comprise the main verse structure of this song. I am
enjoying the production on this album a lot. It's not super
polished but it is crystal clear and definitely has a lot of
tender loving care put in to it. Daniel's vocals has a clear,
unwavering sound to it but he's also able to sing with a great
melodic raspy voice as Matthew Barlow from Iced Earth does.
Adds a lot to the music. "Perfect Warrior" is more Melodic
Metal meets Power Metal. I swear the guitar writing for this
band is just plain killer. It has the coolest fills and slight
guitar riffs that you wouldn't think would make a rat's ass
difference if you heard them played alone, but once they are
all in place and you hear it with all the other instruments it
adds another level of enjoyment to the listening experience.
"Denial of Fate" opens with a guitar/keyboard line. Great
contrast. Another thing that really propels this band are the
memorable choruses. I'm already adding this album to my top 5
for the year. That's how much I am enjoying this band. For my
personal listening tastes, these guys are the total package.
Again, I am able to look past the slight cheese factor of some
of the lyrics. If I HAD to pick one bad thing about this band, that would be
it. I stalled around 3 minutes before writing about this next
song. "Welcome Back" has me captivated. It's one of the most
melodic, yet, power driven tunes I think I have heard in a
long time. Between the music and the singing it's a match made
in Heaven. The bass line on this song reminds me of any song
from the band Malice on their "License to Kill" album. The
bass is actually the instrument that ties this tune together.
It seems forever moving around the fretboard but it just plain
WORKS. The way all the instruments sync together in this song
is perfect. The chorus is one of the highlights from the album
for me so far. The change in the music after the chorus is
perfect as well. After the second chorus the change still
takes place but the singer sings it one step higher. Magic! I
love this tune (in case you haven't figured that out yet!).
"The Kingdom of My Will" is probably the more progressive
track on the album. It almost makes me want to say they have a
Euro Metal flare to their Power Metal sound. There's a cool
guitar/bass line in this song. The chorus is one of the more
melodic ones on the album. There's a lot of music on this
tune, which goes on for around nine minutes. Doesn't bother me
a bit because like I said, Lisicki's solo writing is best
described as being songs within songs. That's one of the
highest compliments I can give a guitarist when I say that.
This is a great closing track. The chorus is repeated quite a
few times within the 9 minutes but it doesn't really come of
as getting boring since it's such a cool chorus, thank God!
The album ends as it began with another brief closing piece. I
can't really call this, or the opening track, an instrumental
because there's not really any music happening. More of a
sound effects thing. Atmosphere.
This is a must have
album. It's not often Metal this fresh and inspired comes
along, so take advantage of it! PERIOD!
For the Love of Metal!
Side Notes: Martin (bass) created Lost
Horizon's web site!