Lost Horizon are also a Gothenburg, Sweden-based power metal band, formed in 1998 by Wojtek Lisicki, Martin Furängen, and Christian Nyquist. Or, to give them their stage names, Transcendental Protagonist, Cosmic Antagonist, and Preternatural Transmogrifier. They were joined by Daniel Heiman, a.k.a Ethereal Magnanimus, in 2001, just in time to release their first album, Awakening the World. This was rather well received among metal-listening circles, and afterwards, two more members joined - Fredrik Olsson and Attila Publik (Equilibrian Epicurius and Perspicacious Protector, respectively) in time to record the band's second album, A Flame to the Ground Beneath in 2003.
Well, I really don't know how much I can say about Lost Horizon's sounds without deviating into their image, but I'll try. As musicians they are obviously very accomplished. Their songs are fast paced yet clean and melodic; not for them grindy nu-metal distortions. However, it must be said that they are all too fond of their instrumentals, which (at least on A Flame to the Ground Beneath) usually consist of swoopy synth effects, not all of which really work. There are no less than three instrumentals per album, on both Awakening the World and A Flame to the Ground Beneath which can make paying £16.99 (in the UK they're usually found as imports) for what is, in actuality, a collection of just six songs a wee bit peeving. Granted, all of these tracks are often over six minutes apiece (with Highlander - The One clocking in at 11.05), but...
I wish, though, I had something slightly less deprecatory to say about their self-crafted image. The cover of Awakening the World features the Swedish quartet descending on a cloud, long hair flapping in the breeze, the otherwise bald Equilibrian Epicurius's cloak flowing gently behind him, into a field populated by besuited twelve-foot taheen wielding bullwhips and puppet-strings on which are attached blindfolded humans digging their own graves. Then the cover of A Flame to the Ground Beneath features the six of them ascending wihle stood heroically on six whirlwinds up from the Earth's surface... Oh, and in their bio, they tell us how only the label Music For Nations successfully "proved themselves worthy" of the band's attention.
Now combine this with the fact that they call themselves the "Bringers of Metal Salvation" and reactions can range from "What a load of wankers!" to "Do they have even the slightest speck of a sense of humour?!" This second proposition is backed up by their lyrics, most of which concern truth, asceticism, purity of one's heart, and such. All very serious subjects, wouldn't you say?
All the same, despite my mini-rant about their, well, rather pretentious, self-crafted image, Lost Horizon are still rather a good band. They're quite different from any other metal band I have heard, with a very clean, yet complex and multi-layered sound. Not even fellow power metallers like Rhapsody or DragonForce or Blind Guardian have the epic, voluminous, yet oddly calming sound that is possessed by Lost Horizon.
Also, soon after their second album, Fredrik Olsson/Equilibrian Epicurius and Daniel Heiman/Ethereal Magnanimus announced their decision to quit, which means that currently (March 2005) the band are on the lookout for a new vocalist and (possibly) guitarist. So, if you think you look good bare-chested in tight leather trousers, war paint, and a long, flowing mane of hair, and you can sing, why not go for it? And remember...
"No Fate. Only the Power of Will."
Inlay to album A Flame to the Ground Beneath