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LOST HORIZON – ‘Awakening the World’
10 tracks
43 minutes
Eternally metal

Sweden’s Lost Horizon’s debut is quite simply my favourite album of 2001. But it isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, because of the nature of it’s content. It’s METAAAAAAAAAL!! This is a slab of pure class Heavy/Power Metal, so let’s get it out of the way straight away – you are either gonna hate this because you think it’s ‘cheesy’, or revel in it’s Old Skool metalness. If you fall into the latter category, read on…

Kicking off with an atmospheric keyboard piece and running straight into opening salvo ‘Heart of Storm’, LH start as they mean to go on. This is a galloping, double-kickdrum driven ode to rebirth in metal, replete with the trademark high metal wails (‘ Watch me ride on the thunder/Followed by warriors of steel’) and crew shouts (‘Hey!’).

Track 3, ‘Sworn in the Metal Wind’ has a bit of a thrash leaning, and contains the classic, immortal lyric: ‘Remember you are metal, not some ass-kissing whore/Take some under your wings, but she must kiss the ring!’.

Throughout the rest of the album, we are treated to song after song of pure, unadulterated metal, with a heavier edge than in days of yore, but nevertheless metal in its truest sense, and unfalteringly enjoyable. The lyrics are memorable, for the most part written in good English, and sung with a level of power and range rarely matched today.

The absolute highlight for me has to be track 8 ‘Welcome Back’, the locked-in-with-the-kickdrums guitar riff and absurdly catchy vocal melody just seem to reach parts that other metal cannot reach.

A few words must be said about the band concept, because it is very cool. The idea seems to be a group of beings from outer space, who have come to liberate Earth from the shackles of modern life using the power of metal. They have awesome names, like ‘Preternatural Transmogrifyer’ (‘Keeping of the Universe’s pulse and taming of chaos’) and ‘Ethereal Magnanimus’ (‘Laments of the souls and primal victorious warrior cries’), and the cover art is awesome, depicting the for warriors in battle with vile oppressors of today’s people.

My only criticism of this album is its slightly disjointed lead work. Despite being played with great skill, most of the solos on this album have a stop-start feel to them, which isn’t really to my taste.

All in all, this album is recommended to those who have a genuine love for this genre, as probably one of the best albums they’ll ever hear. And to those who merely dabble in this genre or for whom it is a guilty pleasure, I think this may be the album that proves this kind of music to be worthwhile and great in its own right rather than just a curiosity or a ‘laugh’. A truly uplifting metal experience.

Tim van Tinteren (PHALLICIDE)

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©2002 RAW NERVE or THE AUTHOR STATED. All trademarks and copyrights are acknowledged