Lost Horizon "Awakening The World"
© 2001 Music For
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
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
"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,
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!