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Horizon Ignited - Toward The Dying Lands Award winner

Horizon Ignited
Toward The Dying Lands
by Phil Tyler at 29 August 2022, 1:40 AM

HORIZON IGNITED are a Melodic Death Metal band from Finland. This is their second album released by NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS. I’ve never heard of HORIZON IGNITED but thought they must be good to be signed to a major label. I wasn’t disappointed. This is an excellent example of a Melodic Death Metal album done right. “Beyond Your Reach” opens up the album with a kick-ass riff over which Otto’s deathly growls roar convincingly. Oh and you can hear the vocals courtesy of an excellent mix where no instrument dominates though the keyboards aren’t discernible at all. I really like Otto’s vocals which range from doomy death roars/growls to Black Metal shrieks through to clean vocals. It works extremely well and it’s a satisfying opening track

“WE BRING THE STORM” growls Otto over some heavy riffage. And they do. “End Of The Line” ain't messing about and when Otto roars. “Kill me you piece of scum or I will beat you down” between some cool stop-start riffage, you believe him! It’s an excellent track and definitely one of my favourites on the album. In fact there isn’t a track I don’t like which shows the quality of songwriting on display.  My only criticism is that on the first half of the album, I couldn’t hear the keyboards unless I strained my ears. However on the second half of the album, that isn’t the case at all so maybe they weren’t meant to be that prominent in the first place.

“Reveries” opens up with lush keyboards adding an atmospheric and almost symphonic intro. This adds a different dynamic to the song. The main riff has a great groove and continues to a clean vocal in a memorable chorus. “Aching Wings” adds echoed guitar with keyboards to again add an atmospheric intro. This song has a more laid back introspective groove with purely clean vocals through the track (bar a couple of seconds) with a cool lead solo in the last quarter of the song. A memorable chorus makes this again a great track. “Death Has Left Her Side” exhibits SWALLOW THE SUN melancholy with a satisfying blend of clean, Death and Black vocals.

“Fall Apart” leaves melancholy behind with a great fast headbanging riff before Ottos’s screams and growls dominate the track. A great solo halfway through leads the song to its conclusion. The album ends solidly on the wonderfully titled “Eventide Of Abysmal Grief” with clean vocals in the verse over a rolling drum beat. Then the death growls come in the pre-chorus before another satisfying chorus. It’s hard to find fault with this release as it’s a superb album. Otto’s vocals are excellent throughout and the blend of the three styles of vocals adds variety, aggression and dynamism to the songs. The production is excellent which really involves you in the songs and you can hear the lyrics which to be honest is a big plus and often lacking in this style of music. The vocals are carried on the back of some stellar musicianship and this is an album which I shall be listening to again and again as it really is that good!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Beyond Your Reach
2. Servant
3. Towards The Dying Lands
4. End Of The Line
5. Guiding Light
6. Reveries
7. Aching Wings
8. Death Has Left Her Side
9. Fall Apart
10. Eventide of Abysmal Grief
Okko Solanterä - Vocals
Johannes Mäkinen - Guitar
Vili Vottonen - Guitar
Miska Ek - Keyboards
Jukka Haarala - Bass
Jiri Vanhatalo - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 27 November 2022

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