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Strange Horizon: Beyond The Strange Horizon

Beyond The Strange Horizon is the latest effort from Bergen based (isn’t everyone these days?) doom mongers Strange Horizon. Taking strong cues from Pentagram, and therefore, Black Sabbath, the sound here is sludgy and determined. Slow paced, deliberate steps always the way forward for this band, although the vocals, which are credited solely to Qvillio, who also plays guitar, come across as almost twee by comparison, so polite is their tone. Admittedly, that they are almost always twin tracked or more does add a little interest, but for me they are a weakness in this band’s attack.

The rest of the line-up for this album was completed by bassist
Lindesteg and drummer Wergeland, although the latter would appear to have now been replaced by the equally mysteriously named Daae. In truth, the vocals aren’t the only issue, with the overall looseness initially coming across as a strength of opener “Tower Of Stone”, but by the time we are deep into “The Final Vision” - which is only track three of eight - the lack of cohesion makes sticking the course quite a task. It’s not that “Chains Of Society” or “Death In Ice Valley” ever threaten to tumble in on themselves, more that the lack of a bond between bass and guitar, guitar and vocals, and vocals and drums makes what is meant to be, well, if not threatening, at least foreboding music sound like it would rather invite you in for a lovely cup of tea than even considering grazing your knee for a quick sight of blood.

The components are just about here, Qvillo able to provide interesting riffs and dextrous solos, while the bass work is way beyond perfunctory - although that might be an accurate description of the drumming. However, with a neutered production and severe lack of bite, even the good elements here are quickly blunted, and the overall impression not one that draws you back for more.

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

Added: October 1st 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Strange Horizon @ bandcamp
Hits: 470
Language: english

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