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Horizon’s End – The Great Destroyer Award winner

Horizon’s End
The Great Destroyer
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 May 2023, 4:12 AM

From Bandcamp, "The Great Destroyer" takes the band to the very next level in terms of musicianship, songwriting and lyrical expression. A magnum opus that combines a wide range of influences (from classical music, to Manos Hatzidakis' artistic vision and from 70s Symphonic Prog and 80s futurism to the Progressive Metal of yesterday and today).” The album has ten songs.

“Damage” is the first. The opening tones have piano, strings, and a host of other symphonic elements, while the rhythm guitars and drums chug away underneath. The vocals have a slight snarl to them, and the band flirts just a bit with Power Metal, and melody flows freely in the chorus. The lead guitar work is excellent, and the quintet is quite talented. “Last to Succumb” has a pretty, folky entrance followed by a melancholy, mid-tempo riff. Melodies flow in the chorus once again, and the extended instrumental passage that follows shows a band with Classical training. “Another War” opens with smooth and easy tones but there is a snake lurking in the background. He slithers into sight with the first guitar riff. Once again, the lead guitar and keyboard solos are outstanding. The band plays so tight with one another that you can’t separate them.

“Catalyst of Fear” begins with doleful strings and light piano notes. Bass and guitar come chugging in with confidence, and Stergios knows just the right drum beats to hit and when. From there, the song has some depressive tones, but also some very pretty ones. “They Will Rise Again” is heavier, and more aggressive, as the title suggests, and the band’s musicianship is on full display. It’s an anthem of sorts, and the energy will get you up and off your chair and grabbing the banner to rise along with the crusaders. Listen to that instrumental section…these guys are top level bosses at their instruments. “Nightmares” has full, rich layers of vocals out of the gates. From there, the song revels in tense tones that are a bit sad at times, but full of positive energy other times. They straddle that line throughout the song, and just when you think things are looking up, the dash your hopes.

“The Parade” begins with slow keyboards and some lead notes. I love the bass tones here. From there, darker tones take over, but also a good deal of melody. The spacey keyboard notes give the song a sort of outer-world quality. “Voices from the Sea” begins with a smoother and mellower sound that transitions to bright accents from guitars, bass, and drums. Harsh vocals spring up, combined with a darker sound that washes partially clean in the chorus. Again, the instrumental passages are very well done. The 12-minute “Postcards from War” closes the album, and it ties up the tale. The vocals are smooth at first, and the tale begins to expand, as Vassilios stretches his voice upwards. Again, the lead work is nearly perfect, and follow the melody through every twist and turn. It builds to an emotional crescendo at the end.

Immensely talented, the Classical blueprint of the band is evident at every turn of the album. This band thinks of everything on the album…every last detail is exactly where it should be. You can tell the band poured every last drop of blood and soul into the album, and it’s something that any fan of Progressive Music should check out.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Damage
2. Last to Succumb
3. The Trail of Notes
4. Another War
5. Catalyst of Fear
6. They Will Rise Again
7. Nightmares
8. The Parade
9. Voices from the Sea
10. Postcards from War
Vassilios Topalides – Vocals
Kosta Vreto – Guitars
Kostas Scandalis – Bass
Sakis Bandis – Keyboards
Stergios Kourou – Drums
Record Label: Steel Gallery Records


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Edited 09 June 2023

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