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Horizon - The Sky´s The Limit

=Staff's pick

Living in Danger*
Keep on Fighting
Don't hide in the Shadow
Hometown Star*
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
So Long Ago*
Caught in the Middle
The End

Genre Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Patrik Hemer
Tracks 11
Patrik Hemer
Runningtime 50 Min.
Label Massacre Records
Bruno J. Franck
Release 06 May 2002
Krissy Friedrich
Country France/Great Britain/Germany
Vinnie Angelo
Similar artists Scorpions, Avalon, Dream Theater

A collaboration between three countries has occured as France, Germany and Great Britain has joined forces and formed the band Horizon. The Sky's the Limit is the debut-album of this quartet and if you remember an era called the 80's and the direction "Euro-metal" you have a pretty good clue to what's in store for us.
That's the best way I can think of when it comes to categorization since their music is a bit too hard for being called simply hard rock and too soft to be going in the 100% lines of the heavy/power directions. So fans of double-bass drums can stop reading right here 'cause that only occurs in one of the eleven tracks (Hometown Star).

This stands out from that above-mentioned main-stream a bit though and mainly due to these guys' great musicianship. Frontman Patrik Hemer's guitarplaying goes in a sort of mix between a more Malmsteen-influenced style and the progressive Dream Theater touch, and that part is what I think is this album's major benefit. With that blend Hemer proves that he really knows how a six-string instrument should be used in both accoustic and electric areas.

The vocals come close to a Klaus Meine (Scorpions....) resembling character at times and it can overall be described as "nice" and above all- very clean. In addition to Helmer's work both vocal- and guitarwise, we're also in for just as good keyboard arrangements and the for the Euro-metal so classic refrain-choirs with every band-member getting a microphone and sings in a higher key.
The often present tempo-changes in the songs feel very much in place and overall this album is of a very high-quality and should be a very competible one too. The more negative aspects to consider are that the songs aren't any more than just good when it comes to the compositions and of course the almost ever present ballad-issue.

Still, Horizon is for me a very good alternative to my most frequently harder and faster choices. Despite that Horizon isn't exactly providing something neither new nor groundbreaking and possesses an originality factor closer to zero, their music is very skillfully performed and worth reckoning.
If great musicianship stands high on your priority-list when it comes to metal and you like it a bit softer every now and then, Horizon should be a great way to increase your collection of CD:s and satisfy those needs of yours way more than you can hope for.






7 chalices of 10 - Mat

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