Awakening the World
Music for Nations
1/24/2003 - Review by: Guest
The standard for debut albums just got a swift kick in the nuts
This is the debut album of Lost Horizon, the Swedish band that plays incredible power metal or "true metal", whatever you want to call it. The first thing you'll notice when you buy this album is the great cover, designed by guitarist of Dark Tranquillity and fellow Swede, Niklas Sundin. While observing the cover, you'll notice right off the bat that these guys are souped up in paint and obviously appear to be influenced by movies such as Braveheart and the Highlander series. Don't be surprised though, considering that some of the Lost Horizon members were once in a band called Highlander, along with some HammerFall members.
Amyways, Lost Horizon features Daniel Heiman (credited as Ethereal Magnanimus) on vocals, who handles his job flawlessly; he has so many different vocal variations that he doesn't allow one boring moment to make it's way onto the album, leaving you anxiously awaiting what he'll pull off next. The rest of the band is also top notch: Wojtek Lissicki on drums (aka Transcendental Protagonist), Martin Furangen (aka Cosmic Antagonist) on bass, and Christian Nyquist (aka Preternatural Transmogrifyer) on drums. Yeah, try saying those warrior names five times fast. Ouch!
The album begins with "The Quickening", a short instrumental, which would never have you guessing that this is an introduction to an album that is about to assault you in every way imagineable, until you're lying on your back in a puddle of your own blood, testing out your new speech impediment. "Heart of Storm" soars onto the speakers, armed with thundering riffs and pounding drums that'll make you want to stand up and shout at the top of your lungs, as if your were leading your troops across the battlefield towards a common enemy, armed only with a sword and shield. "Sworn in the Metal Wind", the third track, is probably the greatest song I have ever heard in my entire life. The song opens with a shrill series of screams, followed by all of the instruments coming together to produce some really catchy music. Within the lyrics is a struggle between an individual who is feeling depressed about things and an inner voice telling him to get himself together and stop being such a wuss. Awesome!
Next, we experience "World through my Fateless Eyes" which immediately develops some kind of Jurassic vibe (in my mind, anyways), the slower-paced (but still good enough to leave a boot mark on your ass) "Perfect Warrior", and "Denial of Fate", which is probably the band's strongest attempt at getting their message across (see below). The albums last "real" song is "The Kingdom of my Will", another top quality track. Just over 9 minutes long, this song flows by pretty nicely, contains great melodies pulled out from all directions, and will have you humming along without knowing it. The song finishes with an impressive climax, and closes out with keyboards.
Many people consider Lost Horizon to be pretty cheesy, but I can't help but admire the way they go out there and flaunt their warrior identities. This band shows to me that they have fun creating their music, and it's great how they don't care what people think about their unusual "warrior identities". They may include some lyrics about "riding on wind" and things of that sort, but the band also manages to squeeze in inspirational lyrics as well, and they actully have a message: 'your destiny is in your hands; act now and live for the day. Life's too short to sit around and wait for fate to call your name.'
'Awakening the World' is definitely my favorite album of 2001, no questions about it! Everything is great: the cover, the vocals, the musicianship, the production, etc. The standard for debut albums just got a swift kick in the nuts. Awakening the World? If this album doesn't wake you up, then you are more than likely already dead.
Favorite songs: "Heart of Storm", "Sworn in the Metal Wind", "Denial of Fate", and "The Kingdom of my Will".