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Strange Horizon: Beyond the Strange Horizon

It makes perfect sense that Beyond The Strange Horizon is the debut album from Norwegian heavy/doom metallers Strange Horizon, because the trio is still touting its influences (i.e. Black Sabbath) quite obviously throughout each of the eight tracks. "Tower of Stone" kicks things off with a riff that sounds like a sped up "Snowblind" from Vol. 4 while "Death in Ice Valley" closes things out sounding like a distant cousin of "Electric Funeral" from Paranoid, which isn't necessarily a negative way to introduce yourself to the scene.

Guitarist/vocalist Qvillio's fuzz-heavy tone isn't as menacing as fans of the genre might want, but he does weave some melodic solos here and there that are in service to the song as opposed to just shredding for the sake of shredding. His work on "Fake Templar" is memorable, although I will add that all of these songs could reach another level if he didn't use the same monotone vocal delivery the whole time. I'm not saying that his voice needs to be fully formed right out of the gate, but I never got the sense that he was unleashing the full power of what he can do at any time.

If you like albums that have a "live off the floor" production vibe, there's definitely a bare bones quality to this that actually sounds like three human beings playing in the same room together and bassist Lindesteg's sludgy low end does create an eerie atmosphere at times. However, if you're a fan of Sabbath, Saint Vitus, and Pentagram, this will likely come off as a band trying to emulate without having the overall songcraft at this stage of their development to match their ambition.

Perhaps they should study Solitude Aeturnus's 1992 album, Beyond the Crimson Horizon, rather than simply evoke the title if they want to start making some truly lasting doom metal.

Track Listing:
1. Tower of Stone
2. Fake Templar
3. The Final Vision
4. They Never Knew
5. Divine Fear
6. Chains of Society
7. Turning the Corner
8. Death in Ice Valley

Added: June 5th 2022
Reviewer: David Hens
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 296
Language: english

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