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Review: Transcending Mortality - The Last Horizon
Transcending Mortality
The Last Horizon

Label: Independent
Year released: 2006
Duration: 52:19
Tracks: 7
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: April 28, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
The Last Horizon

Rated 3/5 (60%) (3 Votes)

Australia's Transcending Mortality certainly have a keen eye for illustration; simple yet intriguing, the artwork to this young quintet's debut is pervasively eye catching, and when topped off with a genre-eschewing logo, the roots of the mystery run deeper than first thought. Quite a shrewd piece of work; and the music within isn't half bad either. Transcending Mortality play pretty light progressive power metal, with extremely melodic and sweet sensibilities that bare quite a resemblance to Sweden's Cloudscape. The dry and regrettably unprofessional production job is frustrating to say the least as "The Last Horizon" would benefit so greatly from the contrary. The mix frankly does nothing for the candy-floss flavoured vocals of keyboardist Mike Zoias, whose voice is primarily stuck in the higher registers and has a soft, rising hue similar to ex-Jacobs Dream vocalist David Taylor. While he does an admirable job, some of the melodies suffer and in that respect, lowers the quality of the release itself. This is a shame as with more power and perhaps a little more character, Zoias could become very distinctive in this genre.

Kicking things into gear we have driving opener "Beyond Remembrance", which at first cuts things a little fine with the pacing until it ultimately flowers into quite a progressive gem, with the complex, intricate middle section proving a major highlight. Amazingly, following track "Into the Light" has a scathing opening riff that screams Children of Bodom before bursting into a slick, upbeat power metal anthem that wouldn't have been out of place on the last Twilightning album. This type of immediacy is what Transcending Mortality should attempt to produce in abundance, as the profit would be a rewarding incentive to charge their talents in other, more commercial areas. The album may lack continuity, but it does have some fine cuts; take for example the twisting, transforming "Twilight" with its melancholic, acoustic intro, or the grinding, air-guitar summoning "Veil of Midnight". Both – along with "Into the Light" - are perfect canvases in which to paint upon in the future.

Despite all its charms, "The Last Horizon" sounds a tad empty - perhaps due to the dreary, muted production – and along with a top name producer, it's something that could be fixed with a greater use of keys and atmospherics. Overall this is definitely a solid debut that should at least warrant a second recording. Preferably before Cloudscape issue their third outing.

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