Containing a fury of passion, aggression, and sheer unbridled power, Horizon the new album from Canadian metallers Until Dawn, is a thrilling riotous introduction of a band with certain craft and unbridled creative energy. Not that the band itself is new on certainly their home metal scene, their debut self-titled album capturing the imagination of a great many in their homeland upon release in 2011, but for most of us on the outside their second full length is the first time the quintet has stepped upon the radar. Going by the quality and strength of the album it will not be the last time either and as they develop into a more distinctly unique presence ahead, you can only feel that Until Dawn will become a potent force of the future.
Hailing from Fort McMurray, Alberta, the line-up of brothers Deke (guitar) and Luke Worrell (drums), Adam Macleod (vocals), Steve White (guitar), and Darren Ehler (bass), forge a tight and hungry mix of melodic and intensive metal with the flames of heavy rock, the result an often bruising and always thoroughly compelling brawl of a sound with fiery depths which has led the band to be compared to the likes of Killswitch Engage, In Flames, and Trivium. The years since forming has seen the band shares stages impressively alongside the likes of Kiss, Korn, Volbeat, Billy Talent, Kiss, A Day To Remember, Hell Yeah, All Else Fails, Fozzy, Ill Scarlett, 3 Inches of Blood and many more, but as their new album steps into view with a flare and confident swagger which oozes promise and maturity you sense the widest recognition is beginning to stir. Their sound, one suspects, is still in evolution as they look to create a distinct space within metal and though the release has not achieved that it suggests it is on the way.
The self-released album stands face to face with the ear from its opening seconds as Roamers And Lurkers prods the senses into alertness with scythes of resonating guitar punches cutting across a niggling beckoning of riffs. With bass and drums casting their sinew woven net around the invitation the track charges into an attention grabbing blaze of energy and feisty sound, the excellent vocals of Macleod which fall somewhere between gravelly and clean, offering an expressive rage of narrative and urgency to the equally energetic sound now in full flow. Though those references earlier mentioned are understandable the bands that immediately make an suggestive comparison are Bloodsimple and UK band I-Def-I, the expertly blended mix of styles and imposing intensity a familiar and potent weapon between all three impressive artists.
The following Strings Of The Dammed is less stressful in its attack though no less fierce of heart and presence, the guitars carving out a provocative sonic strewed wash of enterprise aligned to the again tempting varied vocal enticement. It is a formidable slice of inventive persuasion, a virulent contagion to its adventure and cultivated skill to its presentation securing the hunger of the passions early on and only gripping tighter across the expanse of the track, the same attribute you can lie at the feet of both The Red Sun Rises This Day and Third Knee, two lethally addictive tracks which only add greater irresistible toxicity to the release as their compelling barbed offerings continue their creative persistence. It is fair to say that there is a surface similarity which has its say at times, especially between the first two of this trio, but it is never a strong issue though maybe in the future the band will be picked up on it.
The towering This Fallen Fortress ignites further depths of pleasure next; the opening bass crawl over pungent imagination a spark to the unleashing of the most savage premise of the album yet, though equally it merges it with a smouldering melodic entrapment rife with allurement and intrigue. This certain pinnacle of the album seemingly plays like a trigger as Horizon unveils a new wealth of striking and explosively evocative songs to match its opening. The fervent passion of A Conjurer Of Cheap Tricks and the exceptional predatory Time Tested Fortune snatch greater hunger and lust from the body whilst The Trial continues the rapacious greed with another stirring expulsion of uncompromising creative sway and bait to cement the album’s place in the passions, even if amongst them DNR is a weak link in the inspired aural slavery.
Completed by Polar Parallels and its title track, two more fertile canvases for thoughts and passions to immerse within, plus the bonus tracks WM3 and Richard, the first of the two another self-asserting treat on the release, Horizon is a thrilling and imperious assault from a band with a tremendous future. It may not be the most original album this year but with its fire and distinct craft it is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable and refreshing.
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