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Horizon’s End - Skeleton Keys Award winner

Horizon’s End
Skeleton Keys
by Joe Hausmann at 29 October 2019, 11:15 PM

Often hailed as one of the most talented groups out of the 90’s Progressive Metal scene, HORIZON’S END has returned with a vengeance. With their third album “Skeleton Keys” set to be released on Halloween 2019, it is crystal clear that even with their 18-year absence that they still have what it takes to rise above in the new generation of Progressive Metal. Their sound defines the 90’s Prog Metal scene and they are continuing that sound like they never left. With the help of Steel Gallery Records, HORIZON’S END is fully charged to give the world one of the most anticipated Progressive Metal albums of the year and possibly for the past two decades!

“Skeleton Keys” is a true piece of musical art. Through the entirety of the album, you can see that every sound, note, and composition was meticulously made to create a masterful experience. The album begins with the beautifully dark instrumental track “Alpha”. Melodic guitar riffs flow heavy throughout mixed with Hellenic keyboard work to give ambience to the album. The tones are warm, but have an underlying darkness deep within them. “Forming Fantasies” continues on this path for the beginning before opening up into a masterful performance from Vasilios. The range that he has is almost to ridiculous level. There is a point in this track where he hits the top of his vocal range that literally gave me chills. Then there’s the instrumental part of this track that is also expertly crafted. Insane time changes, ridiculous riffs, and crazy drum work run rampant underneath the powerful vocals.

“The Land Of Decay” brings us some electronic elements blended with symphonic sounds that provide a classic and futuristic dynamic. The vocal work stays in a medium range throughout the track but the melodies that are produced offer warm, deep, and dark tones. “Dreamer’s Hands” offers us a melancholy instrumental to begin the song. I then break into an insane piano riff that is then mimicked by Kosta’s powerful guitar work. Sakis continually changes the tones of the keyboard throughout, never giving the same runs and always mixing it up. Vasilios provides us yet another ridiculous performance that is just all over his range and tones. This track is just absolute, beautiful chaos. There is no singular melody throughout, making it a wonderful track to experience. There are more songs on “Skeleton Keys” but I will them a mystery so you can enjoy the album and discover on your own.

There is so much in “Skeleton Keys” that it was almost difficult to start describing the album! This album was astonishing. A true masterpiece was created by HORIZON’S END. If they were waiting 18 years just to produce this album, then I was happy to wait. The use of futuristic sounds backed by classical overtures provide an interesting dichotomy to their sound. While there are some minor new elements that they have incorporated into their work, they still stick with their older themes.

The amount of layers in “Skeleton Keys” is mind blowing. There is always something new that you will hear every time that you listen to the album. The tempo changes and mixture of melodies always keeps you guessing where they go next.  I respect them for sticking to their old style while experimenting with new ones because why fix something that was never broken. I’m going to go ahead and say this, “Skeleton Keys” is probably the best Progressive Metal album of 2019, but I will let you make that determination for yourself! HORIZON’S END are back and they are here to show the new generation of Progressive Metal how it’s really done!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Alpha
2. Forming Fantasies
3. The Land Of Decay
4. Dreamer’s Hands
5. Ocean’s Grey
6. Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf
7. Be
Lineup:
Sakis Bandis - Keyboard
Stergios Kourou - Drums
Kostas Scandalis - Bass
Vasilios Topalides - Vocals
Kosta Vredo - Guitar
Record Label: Steel Gallery Records
     


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