Until Dawn – Horizon

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STM Records

Review by: Cat A

If you’re anything like me then you have probably never heard of Until Dawn up to now, and what a brilliant a discovery this has been! Perhaps the ignorance can be excused this time though, as this is Until Dawn’s first release through distribution channels, and there is a rather large ocean in the way.

As way of an introduction, Until Dawn are brothers Deke and Luke Worell on the guitar and drums respectively, Steve White also on guitar, Darren Ehler on bass and fronted by the vocals of Adam Macleod. They come from Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, but “Until Dawn has shown that their location will not slow them down”, and I have to say that I agree. Horizon is their second full length album, their first being self-titled and an independent release. Some digging around the band’s social media pages tells me that the album is based on a short story written by a band member ‘about a society that believe in a flat earth and sentence nonbelievers to float off the edge of the world.’

There is a great overall sound to the whole release, with the easiest description being Killswitch Engage merged with Trivium and sprinkled with Bullet For My Valentine (without the whininess), which is not a bad thing. To pick a genre, I have to go with Melodic Metal. It’s one of those bands where there are enough calmer, gentler tracks with which to get a non-metalhead interested before weaning them on to those which have severe mosh pit potential. Horizon was originally released independently in August, before the team up with STM records.

Opening with intent, Roamers and Lurkers is a metal-driven take on what appears, from the lyrics, to be the zombie apocalypse. There’s a punky, high energy refrain with clean vocals that contrast well with the rougher growls of the verses. A clean and catchy riff, a long growl and we’re in to Strings of the Damned where Macleod performs some great metalcore vocals for one of the stand out tracks on the album, followed by the more melodic Red Sea Rises and the outright aggressive Third Knee.

The next of the tracks is one of those that really makes Until Dawn a band to watch, an energetic mix of thrash and melody. In fact, check out the video for This Fallen Fortress below, then come back.

Conjurer of Cheap Tricks is dedicated to those who funded the independent release by crowdsourcing, and is yet more high energy with a slightly punky feel and a singalong chorus. It is DNR that takes the pace down, showcasing that this is not a one trick band who repeat the same formula with the choice of a simple acoustic and bass accompaniment to powerful lyrics for most of the song, before a minimal amount of electric guitar adds power to the finale.

Time Tested Fortune bounces back from the momentary melancholia, screams, growls and all with what I have to say is my favourite solo of the album, changes of tempo keep you guessing what is coming next, and its a thrashy intro to my favourite song on Horizon; The Trial, which tells us about the trial of one of the non-believers I mentioned earlier, but it could as well be about any society that exiles those who do not fit in with expectations. The close of the main content is the title track, and it is a smooth ending to a well ordered album.

This is a good release from a Canadian band that we need to keep an eye on. If there are any negatives, it is that there isn’t necessarily a song that becomes an earworm after a couple of listens. That said, I’ve been listening to Horizon for four days with very little else and haven’t found a track that makes me want to hit the skip button.

Until Dawn are another band adding to the rapidly growing list that I want to see more from and more importantly, live. When are you coming over here guys?

Rating: ****/5

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