LOST HORIZON – A Flame To The Ground Beneath


Music for Nations
Release Date: June 21, 2003

User Review
9.5/10 (1 vote)

Swedish band Lost Horizon’s second studio CD, A Flame to the Ground Beneath, is already garnering rave reviews throughout the metal world. If you listen to their interview on Metal Express, you’ll hear them point out that for their last album, they posted 75 positive reviews from sources all over the world. Looks like the same thing is going to happen again with their newest release.

But don’t call them power metal. They don’t want to hear it. The problem with not calling them power metal is that they have some of the same qualities of power metal — sing along choruses, strong vocal melodies, technically sound musicianship and longer than average arrangements (song number eight, “Highlander, is almost 12 minutes long.) But after listening to the CD a few times, you’ll find out why they are annoyed by that designation. It’s just metal, folks. You don’t have to get it all gussied up for us.

The CD starts with an instrumental called “Transdimensional Revelation,” which leads into the second song, “Pure.” This song has one of the strangest choruses you’ll ever hear. And that’s not an insult. (Lost Horizon sounds like no one else, and that is one of the reasons why you can’t throw them in the same pot as power metal bands.) During the chorus, these harpy-like screams accompany the structured vocal lines, and you just have to hear it to understand. The lead singer, Ethereal Magnanimus (doesn’t sound Swedish), is an unbelievable singer. The best way to describe him: he is the guy Yngwie Malmsteen has been looking for as he’s gone through his last 497 lead vocalists. He can go from Halford-like screams to the most melodic crooning you’ve ever heard. When he growls, it works; when he screams, it works; everything in between, it works.

The coolest song by far is the third offering, “Lost in the Depths of Me.” The guitars are the focus on this song, especially at the beginning. If you just started the song at 2:10 into it, you’d hear Lost Horizon at their heaviest. It is one of their hardest songs vocally as well.

“Again Will the Fire Burn” is another good song, but it does lean a little close to the “p” word, so we’ll move on.

The only complaint you could possibly make about the CD is that there are only 9 songs on it. Sure, it is longer than their last CD, but there is an intro, an “outro” and an instrumental called “The Song of Earth.” (This means only 6 songs have vocals, for all you non-math majors.) The other complaint would be the song “Highlander,” the aforementioned 12-minute construct. It sounds a little disjointed, and at times, the vocals are somewhat grating as Magnanimus goes from a low range snarl to ear-raping screams. But, about 7 minutes of the song is still great, so it’s not a waste by any means.

If all of this isn’t enough to make you take this METAL album seriously and go out and get it, check out the cast of characters in the band: Cosmic Antagonist, Equillibrian Epicurius, Transcendental Protagonist, Preternatural Transmogrifyer, Perspicacious Protector, and of course, Magnanimus. (No joke to follow; their names speak for themselves.)

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