Lost Horizon could be described in one word: Astronomical. I choose this word not because I like applying hyperbole, but because they closely fit into the word.
Firstly, they possess a massive magnitude of musical ability that is a pleasure to listen to. And secondly, if we are to believe the band themselves, they are not of this world.
The former is easy to accept when you listen to their work. The latter is something you'll have to trust me on.
These self proclaimed saviours of metal have poured the kind of effort and detail into their albums that a PhD graduates thesis would envy. From the music to the album jacket to their on and offstage personas, these gallant warriors of metal have embraced their philosophy; personal strength through truth and metal.
Upon joining the band, each member takes on their 'true form'. At the time of this album's release, Lost Horizon was six in number. I'll quote the album jacket verbatim to give you a glimpse of the attitude of the spiritual ones.
- Poetry of Spiritual Enlightenment/Strings Romanticism
Translation for Mortals - Guitars
Earthshape - Wojtek Lisicki
- Orchestrating of Thunder & Seismic Harmonising
Translation for Mortals - Bass
Earthshape - Martin Furangen
- Keeper Of The Universe/Pulse and Taming Of Chaos
Translation for Mortals - Drums
Earthshape - Christian Nyqvist
- Soulhealing Euphoria Generators
Translation for Mortals - Keyboards and Synths
Earthshape - Attila Publik
- Laments of the Souls, and Primal Warrior Screams
Translation for Mortals - Vocals and Screams
Earthshape - Daniel Heiman
- String Romanticism
Translation for Mortals - Guitars
Earthshape - Fredrik Olsson
At this point, you've either run screaming from the room (in mirth or in terror), or you're salivating over you keyboard at the mere thought of how awesome this all sounds.
The latter are the ones who will definitely enjoy this album. The former may or may not, depending on where their tastes lie. Make no bones about it, this is plain and true power metal, played with verve and speed. Three instrumentals dot the landscape (Pure
, The Song Of Earth
) at the beginning, middle and end respectively, and the rest of the album could be almost considered as a journey of spiritual enlightenment.
A Flame To The Ground Beneath
differs from its predecessor, Awakening The Worlds
in a number of ways. Some of the aggression displayed by the band has been replaced by a more focussed drive for compassion. Also, the pure crunch has been tempered by a more melodic feel, with a larger emphasis on keyboards than before. However, this is not to suggest that A Flame To The Ground Beneath
is in anyway lacking. It possesses a greater sincerity than the band's debut album, and as such speaks to the listener in a more persuasive way.
And the album still retains the heart of Lost Horizon. The epic track Highlander (The One)
is like Braveheart without the annoying acting. Carefully orchestrated harmonies give way to crunching guitar solos, which blend with drums and bass to create symphonies on a grand scale.
Pulse pounding power metal anthems like Lost In The Depths Of Me
and Think Not Forever
deliver a self-help message that will make you feel like a king. And once again, Lost Horizon provide us with the tools to understanding truth and wisdom, through the songs Pure
, Again Will The Fire Burn
and Cry Of A Restless Soul
Many people will tell you that without emotion, speed doesn't matter. Just as many will say that without speed, emotion is useless. Luckily there is something here to please both sides of the fence, and that is where this album really excels. It is power metal without the dragons, progressive metal without the wankery. And it's a brilliant listen.
Steerpike of R&M fame once said that, "Metallica will make you feel angry, but Lost Horizon will make you feel like a god." And that probably sums it up better than I could. So give this album a listen, and get in touch with the divinity in all of us.