Event Horizon - Naked On The Black Floor - 2006 - Cruz Del Sur Music
1. Everything That Begins…Must End 2. Deconstructed 3. Bited 4. Again 5. The Road To Myself 6. Fragments Of Insanity 7. Zero 8. The Flying Feather 9. The Wall
A decade after their creation, Event Horizon are still trying to carve out a niche for themselves in the Italian metal scene known predominantly, and almost exclusively, for the bloused LARP-ers in Rhapsody. Their newest release and third full length, ‘Naked on the Black Floor’, stands as a good example of their style— significant but not ostentatious keyboards, mid-tempo melodies, emphatic vocals, and nary a trace of dragons or wizards.
It is unlikely that Event Horizon will be anytime be championed as the quintessential, ‘can’t be missed’ power metal group of the decade, but they are doubtlessly a welcome respite from the one-dimensional double kicks, gang vocal choruses, and shredding solos that most second-tier power metal bands exhibit so freely. Event Horizon, while obviously power metal, are still somewhat unique, if not spectacularly so.
After beginning with the pointless but obligatory semi-ambient intro track, ‘Naked On the Black Floor’ soon finds its momentum, laying out diverse and engaging arrangements for a good four or five songs. At some points, singer Gianluigi Girardi breaks power metal convention, belting out a scream or two; this is, however, in a tasteful manner, somewhat akin to Mercenary’s recent effort, ‘11 Dreams’, and does not disrupt the album’s flow. His distinctive vibrato, untamed and bold, takes precedence in every track, but his supporting cast is also worthy of mention.
As prevalent as keyboards are in power metal, it is rare that a band will cross over into the more techno-oriented sound effects of their instruments. Event Horizon does, if timidly, with mixed results. Sometimes effective as an uplifting interlude or subtle rhythmic harmony, they help to establish an identifiable base for each track. And yet, they can also sometimes evoke the spirit of the dreaded ‘Casio’ toy keyboard. This facet of the album may very well be the deciding factor for most fans.
Other than these two leading factors, Event Horizon is somewhat understated. The guitars are thick, but modest, giving the songs structure but not seizing the spotlight very often. Too, it was only after three or four listens that the competent and patient drumming made its positive impression.
But, as initially interesting as ‘Naked on the Black Floor’ was, it eventually runs out of ideas and energy. The easiest comparison for this album is that of a live show, both in sound and style. The vocals, while energetic, are not quite as professionally cultured as would be hoped, reminiscent of an enthusiastic but somewhat amateur performer in concert. And, as one tends to lose interest in a band’s mediocre set as it drags on, so to does this album lose its appeal. Strong tracks such as ‘The Road To Myself’ and the queerly titled ‘Bited’ are placed early on, leaving most of the album’s second half uninspired.
Despite this, Event Horizon are worth a try for most power metal fans. They display much promise with their rock sensibility, diversity, and character. For example, how many power metal albums can actually boast bass solos? Few. However, Event Horizon’s time as a frontrunner has not yet come. An album or two into the future, though, and they may well creep into a good number of annual top 10 lists.
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