Review: Distant Horizon - Laniakea

From the recommendation of the PR wire who provided this EP for listening and reviewing, I decided to listen to this debut release by Finnish quartet Distant Horizon. This Lapua-based outfit are definitely hard to peg in terms of genre. Their style is heavy, but not in the way of normal tech metal or progressive metal bands. There isn't much in the way of riffing or pretentious, cheesy cliches. Distant Horizon are completely different, really, and they are here to win an uphill battle. 

“Laniakea” is an instrumental affair that is always interesting and spell-binding. Indeed, I think that is the most impressive aspect here: the music grabs, holds and doesn't let go. The band builds a wonderful wall of sound using intricate guitar riffs and solos, offbeat drumming with amazing fills, a refreshing bass work and plenty of atmospherics. One of the things you will notice right away is the fact that Distant Horizon is very comfortable with odd time signatures. “Wandering to Morrow” track is an easy example of this, as the song never quite feels “right” the first time through, but then your mind will grasp the beat in all of its intangible glory in subsequent listens. In the end, the composition is genius and absolutely mind-boggling to perform.

The EP never really stops, though. “End of Greatness” and “Before the Dawn” continue the incredible composition, though I feel that they are slightly more accessible, what’s not bad. The listener is blown away again and again by the fullness of the sound and the ease with which the band establishes an odd groove. This band has a penchant for creating groovy atmospheres that blow right over your head, but then come back and smack you in the spine with their genius.

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