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Neverlight Horizon – Walxaz [EP]

neverlight horizon – walxaz [ep]

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Once upon a time… twenty years ago, almost 21 even… there was this young, juvenile little fellow that reviewed a fine demo from a Belgian Death Metal band called Neverlight Horizon. He quite liked it and compared them with the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Dying Fetus. He liked the band so much that he even approached them for an interview that would appear two months later on the same Vampire Magazine pages in 2003.

That young little fellow is now this old grumpy bastard, but I couldn’t suppress a smile of joyful recognition when I accidentally came across this new EP from the same band, Neverlight Horizon. It feels a bit like reuniting with an old acquaintance who has apparently walked a similar path after all, because, truth be told, both the band and I are both still at a wonderfully amateur level. Neverlight Horizon presents their music again on a self-financed CD and I try to put some words to it that will subsequently appear in the bowels of the internet… Well, as VM-Underground member Vincent said, “personal growth is overrated”.

But… All kidding aside, let’s analyse this latest work from our southern neighbours, as of course, that is what we are here for to begin with. I was not only surprised that the band was still around and seemingly alive and kicking, but I was also a bit amazed that at least my chat partner of my 2003-published interview is still part of the band. Unfortunately I also saw that the (great) vocalist at the time left just earlier this year. So, at least on the vocal department we will be given something different to chew on.

Musically surprisingly little has changed since the band’s early steps. The music can still largely be described as Cannibal Corpse-tinged Death Metal with a slight Hardcore undertone to it. Not so much that it goes into The Black Dahlia Murder-like territories, yet the in the interview discussed Hardcore-background is abundantly present. That keeps the band safely within the Dying Fetus camp, but it never goes into direct copycatting. Cannibal Corpse is still never far away, the meaty chugging riffs are still really close to those of these Death Metal titans. This basically means that Neverlight Horizon has progressed practically nothing when it comes to the musical formula, when it comes to sound quality however, that is where the biggest change is to be found. A fuller sound definitely serves the music much better, but fairness dictates that the ‘Perfection In Murder’s Art’ demo from 2003 has a very charming raw sound that I still very much appreciate.

On the aforementioned vocal side of things, new vocalist Aubry André brings a bit of a different flavour to the music. A considerable part of the Hardcore-vibe of the music is to be credited to André’s way of singing, but don’t get me wrong, he is doing a more than decent job delivering the goods here. Since I have been doing the comparison-game all over the place, I will grant André his own. Roughly it could be stated that André sounds somewhere in between the likes of Erik Rundqvist (Vomitory), Alex Camargo (Krisiun) and current Malevolent Creation singer Deron Miller.

Altogether ‘Walxaz’ comes to me as a decent Death Metal EP. It presents 20 minutes of good and entertaining Death Metal, but without ever really going over the top or to hit the outer limits of the genre. But, then again, I never got the impression that these guys were going for any originality awards and their position in the (Belgian) underground scene may in itself speak for itself. In all my childlike innocence, I concluded my review in March 2003 with the flattering words “Fuck originality”, but actually it turned out those words still fit Neverlight Horizon like a glove.

Self-Released

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