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Awakening The World

  1. The Quickening
  2. Heart Of Storm
  3. Sworn In The Metal Wind
  4. The Song Of Air
  5. World Through My Fateless Eyes
  6. Perfect Warrior
  7. Denial Of Fate
  8. Welcome Back
  9. The Kingdom Of My Will
  10. The Redintegration

Time:  43:24
Genre:  Power–metal

Lost Horizon

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Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Lost Horizon "Awakening The World"
© 2001 Music For Nations/Koch

Intro: Sporting face and body paint, Manowar–esque lyrics, and the fury of a ten–ton elephant in their top–notch power–metal songwriting, Lost Horizon have arrived on the metal scene with a no–holds–barred attitude. And 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...

What do these checks mean?

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 into a full metal assault titled "Heart Of Storm." The beginning is reminiscent of a more melodic–oriented Judas Priest. It is evident right from the get–go that this is a band. The rhythm section of bassist Martin Furangen and drummer Christian Nyquist provide a tight foundation for Wojtek Lisicki's 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 is out there. They have an added flare to their music, though, which I cannot 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. I 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 is 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." Definitely cool for a chuckle. I can see some metal–heads not looking past the lyrics though and failing to hear the ass–kicking metal that is 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 really 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 will 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 one minute. It is all keyboards and isn't really that amazing. I imagine it is mainly here to provide a transition into "World Through My Fateless Eyes." This tracks cranks back into the metal. Double bass and chunk comprise the main verse structure of this song. I am enjoying the production on this album a lot. It is not super polished, but it is crystal clear and definitely has a lot of tender loving care put in to it. Daniel's vocals have a clear, unwavering sound to it, but he is 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 and keyboard line; great contrast. Another thing that really propels this band are the memorable choruses. I am already adding this album to my top five for the year. That is 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 three minutes before writing about this next song. "Welcome Back" has me captivated. It is 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 is 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 most progressive track on the album. It almost makes me want to say they have a Euro–metal flare to their power metal sound. There is a cool guitar/bass line in this song. The chorus is one of the more melodic ones on the album. There is 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 is 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 nine minutes, but it doesn't really come of as getting boring since it is such a cool chorus; thank God! The album ends as it began with another brief closing piece. I cannot really call this, or the opening track, an instrumental, because there is not really any music happening. More of a sound effects thing, atmosphere.

Conclusion: This is a must–have album. It is not often that metal this fresh and inspired comes along, so take advantage of it. Period!

— by Deron Blevins, Staff writer

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