A clear sense of purpose and well-developed writing

Power metal in general is not my favourite form of metal music and glossy, overdone computer game-like artwork such as what adorns Horizons (no apostrophe) Edge’s second album usually starts ringing alarm bells from miles away.

Having put aside those regular prejudices – though had they deigned to label themselves as female-fronted metal as if that’s an actual genre then the deal would have been off – I discover that Heavenly Realms is quite a solid local release.

‘Vagabond’ sets the tone for the album right away with steadily-galloping riffs and entwining guitar melodies while the marching beat in ‘Out of the Ashes’ lends something of an epic feel to that track. They tick all the right boxes without going beyond what’s expected of a band of their nature, but there’s a clear sense of purpose and well-developed writing on display that overrides the lack of any real innovation in Horizons Edge’s melodic power metal songs. Kat Sproule has both range and power in her delivery and the guitar team are certainly no slouches with some impressive performances in tracks like ‘Empire’ with its labyrinthine solo. The daft lyrics in ‘Head Honcho’ aside, Horizons Edge have crafted a decent album that will certainly appeal to power metal fans, but probably won’t win over too many others.

1. Vagabond
2. Out of the Ashes
3. Heavenly Realms
4. Ride the Stars
5. Empire
6. Sign of the Times
7. Life After Death
8. Head Honcho