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Evilfeast > Lost Horizons of Wisdom > Reviews
Evilfeast - Lost Horizons of Wisdom

The forest kingdom now extends before my sight. - 91%

Wilytank, May 6th, 2014

It's always a good sign for me when a black metal album begins with a beautiful, spacey ambient piece before it actually dives into the riffs. Evilfeast's Lost Horizons of Wisdom falls into this niche of spacey atmospheric black metal that I enjoy and is easily one of the best albums in that niche that I've found in a long time. The band has released other albums, but even they don't strike me as strongly as Lost Horizons of Wisdom, mainly because I prefer this album's structure: 5 ten+ minute long tracks rather than 8 or 9 shorter ones including interludes.

The riffs themselves sound like a mix of Darkspace and Lunar Aurora during the faster parts, but it's not them alone that make the album. There's ambient bits thrown in throughout the album, not constantly, but just in the right places. The guitars may sound a little dry, but the ambiance in the right places gives them a booster shot to help them forward through each of these long songs.

When the ambiance plays by itself though it sounds the most mystical. The beginning of "Algol's Northern Lights and the break in "Grimspirit the Forest Wanderer" are the best examples of this especially the former as it's the intro to the album. The only time the ambiance gets carried away is in "My Tower Among the Timeless Mountains" because it goes on for way too long. It's a twenty minute long song, but it could have been cut a good five and a half minutes shorter because that's how long this intro is.

The best parts of the album though are when the metal instruments and the ambiance play together. And while there's plenty of that going on here, some of them are extremely memorable; in particular, the starry sounding part starting at the 6:10 mark of "Grimspirit...", the slower Elffor-esque parts after the intro on "Cold Chains of Despondency", and the outro of the same song which reuses the ambiance used in the intro. Hell even the intro to "Algol's Northern Lights" sounds great when it turns up again near the end of the title track when it's played with the rest of the instruments.

Lost Horizons of Wisdom is a great album for fans of spacey sounding black metal. It's great for fans of Kataxu, Lunar Aurora, Vinterriket and the like. Despite it being longer than Evilfeast's other three full-lengths and therefore may be a tougher nut to crack, when you do crack it it's well worth it.

Consistency is a good thing - 87%

Pestbesmittad, October 25th, 2008

Well, here’s another Evilfeast album and GrimSprit stays true to his style. “Lost Horizons of Wisdom” contains good and solid cold atmospheric black metal in the early 90s Nordic vein with a touch of ambient. The bands I’m reminded most about are Burzum and early Gehenna. Some of the riffs are clearly Burzum influenced, while the interaction between the guitars and the synths often reminds me of Gehenna.

All the songs are long and the riffing is somewhat repetitive, not quite as simple in structure as e.g. Burzum’s “HLTO” though. If you like this type of song writing, “LHOW” is strongly recommended, as the length of the tracks allows the listener to make his or her own “journey to the stars” while listening. I’ve previously mentioned Xasthur as a reference in my Evilfeast reviews but this time I don’t really get any such vibes from the music.

The production is a touch grimmer than on previous Evilfeast releases, although the general sound picture has remained the same as before. The guitars are bit more distorted and have less low end than before and the production is a bit more dissonant overall than previously. This creates a hazy feeling to the album, which complements the artwork. Compared to older Evilfeast releases, the synths have become colder and more penetrating. They often make the music sound quite massive, one good example of this is the beginning of “Cages of Cold Despondency”. Another good example of this is the first part of the title track, which is slow, emotional and very sorrowful. I would have loved it if the whole track had been like this but it does speed up later on. The blasting kills some of the atmosphere that has been built up by the first part of the track, but it’s for sure still a great song with some very Burzum inspired riffs.

As I mentioned before, ambient is part of Evilfeast’s musical repertoire also on this album. All tracks feature floating ambient parts among the all the black metal mayhem. Take for example the first approximately five and a half minutes of “My Tower Among the Timeless Mountains”: first both synths and distorted guitars play together but the guitars stop after a while and the rest of the introductory part is sad and majestic synth music. Then at 5:40 the black metal finally kicks in and the track starts for “real”. These ambient parts remind me of Vinterriket’s ambient stuff, as they make me think of desolate moonlit wintry landscapes untouched by Man.

Some acoustic guitar is used on “Grim Spirit, the Forest Wanderer” but it’s very low in the mix and the sections containing acoustic guitar are short, so you might not notice this detail at first. The vocals are still distorted and pretty low in the mix, so they act more like an instrument and don’t dominate the sound. I like this mixing decision, as it makes the music sound well balanced. A lot of fury on this one but also some damn fine tranquil moments in the shape of the ambient parts.