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Horseman - Of Hope, Freedom and Future

Of Hope, Freedom and Future
by Dave Nowels at 31 August 2018, 11:44 AM

F*#K YEAH! This album sports some serious testosterone, and really impressed me. This is one of those instances of when doing a review helps you discover something new, and while not necessarily original, it’s still fresh and exciting.

HORSEMAN is a Modern Metal band out of Germany. “Of Hope, Freedom and Future” is their third album and has been released by Massacre Records, also based in Germany. The title track opens the album, and just like that, HORSEMAN reveals their secret weapon in Michael Kolar’s drumming. It’s mesmerizing, impressive and even somewhat unbelievable. Perhaps there are silly producer tricks at play, as Kolar produced the album as well. I hope not, though even if so, the drums absolutely highlight the release. Track two is “A Thousand Wars”, and might be the only track that really didn’t do anything for me. It just seemed generic.  On the other hand, track three, “Hunters” completely won me over for the remainder of the album.  It is easily my favorite track.  Ever the vocal snob that I am, Stefan Bohm didn’t win me over easily. However, once he did, he did so thoroughly. There’s a power and an urgency to the vocals, that all at once connected with me. That doesn’t happen often.

“See Me Hanging” almost makes me question if it’s better than “Hunters”, and in some ways it might just be. One of the shorter songs on the album, it nonetheless feels like an epic somehow. Edinger and Panic maintain a subtle guitar attack throughout. It’s not overwhelming, with reserved riffs and a focus on melody. Brennecke’s bass is constantly present, and he chooses his moments to really shine through. Full of unexpected sonic surprises here and there, this never more noticeable than on “An Open Mind Breaks Down Walls”. An instrumental, striking in its beauty might seem out of place on a release so based in power and rage. Yet, it proves to be the perfect interlude, placed in the perfect location of the sequence.

“The Final Dance” and “Shellshock” close out the album strongly. The former employing some great guitar work towards the final stanza. “Shellshock” on the other hand rallies with some downright impressive harmonies towards its conclusion. “Of Hope, Freedom And Future” is a balls to the wall, full on attack of the senses. One that deserves more than one listen in order to fully appreciate it. My only criticism is the album’s cover. I would have never thought of listening to this one based on the cover. When I first saw the cover, I wrongly assumed this was going to be Symphonic Metal album. I’m glad I gave it a chance, and that it most definitely wasn’t.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Of Hope, Freedom And Future
2. A Thousand Wars
3. Hunters
4. See Me Hanging
5. The Monsters I Feed
6. Die Gedanken Sind Frei
7. Teach Them To Question
8. An Open Mind Breaks Down Walls
9. The Giant
10. Fools Keep Marching
11. The Final Dance
12. Shellshock
Stefan Bohm – Vocals
Malte Edinger – Guitar
Gregor Panic - Guitar
Christoph Brennecke – Bass
Michael Kolar - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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