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Ghost Horizon - The Punishment of Life

Ghost Horizon
The Punishment of Life
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 25 August 2021, 5:34 AM

The solo projects and bands exist in Rock and Metal since the early years of the 60’s, but gained more prominence during the 80’s, when BATHORY came basing its line-up with only one musician, Quorthon (although he admitted on many occasions that the drums were recorded by other musicians). And due his huge influence on the model of Black Metal that arose from the underground in the early days of the 90’s, this format became useful to many, and is in use until today. And from the USA comes GHOST HORIZON, a Black Metal one-man band from Phoenix, Arizona. And on this new release, the EP “The Punishment of Life”, Daniel shows his ideas.

The musical work of GHOST HORIZON is a form of Old School Black Metal from the beginning of the Second Wave, filled with many sad  and darkened melodic ambiences created by keyboards and guitars, but with nasty aggressive parts creating a grotesque (and good) set of contrasts. It’s a classic format, but with the musical ideas of Daniel being expressed in a morbid and personal form. Yes, these words mean that this EP is good, indeed. The production was done in a way to make the songs sound nasty and crude, as Black Metal was used to be during the years between 1992 and 1996 (before many bands started to use a defined way for the albums). But to be crude doesn’t mean that things aren’t sounding in a way that can be understood. No, the sonority of “The Punishment of Life” is very good in the way it is.

The contrasts of harsh voices with introspective morbid melodies shown on “Sunrise & Sorrow (Morning Air)” and “Oozaru” are fine (this last one shows good arrangements on the keyboards parts as well). “The Punishment of Life” uses a slow and deeper rhythmic expression, creating a morbid ambience, while “Unholy Conjuration” choses a path in a more traditional vein on Black Metal, aggressive and with very good shrieks. Charming melancholic melodies adorn “Finality in Brilliance” created by the guitars, and the same fact happens on “Wretched Fiend (The Haunting)” (where bass guitar and drums are doing a good work as well).

Well, after listening to “The Punishment of Life”, all that’s left to say is that GHOST HORIZON is a good name for those that like Old School Black Metal, and an album as soon as possible would be a very good idea.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Sunrise & Sorrow (Morning Air)
2. Oozaru
3. The Punishment of Life
4. Unholy Conjuration
5. Finality in Brilliance
6. Wretched Fiend (The Haunting)
Daniel Stollings - Vocals, All Instruments
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 June 2023

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