Awakening The World
Koch/Music For Nations
Whoa… far out, man. Really, I almost feel guilty for nearly sweeping Lost Horizon’s Awakening The World from under the feet of fellow Ink 19 metal scribe David Lee Beowulf, because this really sounds — and more so, looks — like his mug of mead, as opposed to my usually death-dusted one. I mean, just take a gander at that Dave (Cathedral) Patchett-goes-power metal cover! The four cosmic warriors gracing the cover, then: Cosmic Antagonist (go figure), Ethereal Magnanimus, Preternatural Transmorgifyer, and Transcendental Protagonist. Granted, the trip travailed on Lost Horizon’s debut platter pretty much lies within post-Rhapsody/Hammerfall territory — that is, Euro-entrenched power metal, with the semi-ballad (“Perfect Warrior”) thrown in for good, marketable measure — but it is these Swedes’ beyond-bombast/space schtick that truly sets them apart, tough yet graceful execution and immediately infectious composition (especially the comparatively understated “Welcome Back”) be damned. Hey, it sure beats Rhapsody’s posing-with-elves-and-swords shtick or Hammerfall’s conspicuous lack of one (point of interest: under original moniker Highlander, featured the latter’s Joacim Cans, Stefan Elmgren, and Patrik Rafling). And if you need something to pass the time while listening to Awakening The World, read the Dead Sea Scroll-sized thanks lists, the most exhaustive/exhausting ones these eyes have scrutinized since Napalm Death’s Harmony Corruption (y’know, one of those that are ten times as long as the lyrics); you just might wander upon Transcendental Protagonist’s thanking of Limahl for writing “Never-Ending Story” – go Falcore! All told, though, this is the first power metal record I’ve actually enjoyed in a long while, for what that’s worth: in other words, warmly recommended for wimpiness-weary ears by someone who has the professional privilege of being chucked shite promos on a daily basis. But, man, that thanks list… and that cover!
Koch Records, 740 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; http://www.kochentertainment.com