Lost Horizon - A Flame To The Ground Beneath

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Music For Nations
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:35:00

How does a band follow up a release that was considered by many - including myself - to top the power metal list of 2001? Answer. They don't. But they get pretty bloody close.

Lost Horizon's debut album Awakening The World was an amazing CD but consider this: that album was 10 years in the making and this new one was approximately 18 months. This quick turnaround takes away from the intense nurturing that the debut had resulting in an album slightly different, yet ultimately satisfying, from the debut.

For those interested (and there should be a lot of you), what Lost Horizon offer is heavy Swedish power metal with Manowar-tinged lyrics that sound fresher than all other power/true metal bands out there. First up, the band have absorbed two new members into their creative nest - keyboardist Attila Publik and second guitarist Fredrik Olsson. Whilst these two had no bearing on the final outcome of A Flame To The Ground Beneath, it has given the original musicians room to develop and play with their sound. Most notably, Lost Horizon's musical structure has reached a new level of technical finesse to expand their broadening (Lost) Horizons. The band are still extremely guitar dominant but there are plenty of time changes on here too. Finally, and unpredictably considering their first album, A Flame To The Ground Beneath is very melodic at times, which denotes the biggest difference between the two albums. Instead of the almost wild-abandon which the first album was built on, this album instead sees the band more focused on controlled, rather than anarchic, magic. This is definitely an album built on grooves rather than out-and-out metal and from a personal standpoint, I miss that frenzied nature of their first album.

Vocally, Daniel Hieman sounds magnificent - again. Following the musical change, Daniel has a more melodic approach to singing and whilst there are tracks reminiscent of the debut (most notably "Pure"), he manages to follow the music perfectly - including the trademark screams that are prevalent in the music.

Lyrically, once again, OUTSTANDING. I have to say that bands like Lost Horizon are a rarity when it comes to intense, meaningful lyrics. From spirituality and thoughtful reckonings to probing the depths of life, the universe, and everything (and let's not forget a welcome return to Highlander), what Lost Horizon do is create metal poetry.

An album is also only as long as it should be and Lost Horizon have put together 9 songs with three short instrumentals culminating in six "true" songs only. The songs are also quite lengthy too with only one short vocal track (four minutes) whilst the rest are between six and twelve minutes. But some of these songs are truly awe-inspiring from the opener "Pure" to the concluding "Highlander (The One)" (yes, it is movie-based). The instrumentals are quite ambient and include "The Song Of Earth" (the first album had "The Song Of Air" which means we'll have to have "The Song Of Fire" and "The Song Of Wind" on future releases). The outro is "Deliverance" and doesn't really deliver on the metal front but this ambient piece adds a texture to the music that is clearly embedded in the Lost Horizon psyche rather than just a minor, irrelevant reference.

Whilst I don't believe this album, taken as a whole, has as much immediate impact as the debut, I think this album will have plenty of long-term appreciation. Hell, I still play Awakening The World often enough and the great thing about this wonderfully titled album is that it proves Lost Horizon were not one hit wonders!

Similar To: Iron Maiden, Manowar

[This review originally appeared March 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Transdimensional Revelation (2:14) / Pure (6:25) / Lost On The Depths Of Me (8:45) / Again Will The Fire Burn (4:08) / The Song Of Earth (1:20) / Cry Of A Restless Soul (8:22) / Think Not Forever (5:58) / Highlander (The One) (11:56) / Deliverance (3:27)

Ethereal Magnanimus (Daniel Heiman) - vocals
Transcendental Protagonist (Wojtek Lisicki) - guitars
Cosmic Antagonist (Martin Furängen) - bass
Preternatural Transmogrifyer (Christian Nyqvist) - drums Perspicacious Protector (Attila Publik) - keyboards
Fredrik Olsson - guitars

Awakening The World (2001)
A Flame To The Ground Beneath (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: December 30th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.oncelosthorizon.com
Hits: 675
Language: english


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