another power metal album. Kenziner's long-in-development new
album "The Last Horizon" is a great effort on so many fronts.
The band features amazing guitarist Jarno Keskinen, so I suppose
that is their claim to fame. And, yet, this album is a bit of a
mixed bag in some areas. Let me elaborate.
The progressive power metal subgenre is extremely crowded, and
most of the bands sound exactly alike. Kenziner, I'm afraid, is
no different, though they've been around longer. The band,
obviously, plays a fast and heavy progressive metal with plenty
of epic moments, gigantic riffs, and more neo-classical ideas
than you can shake a stick at. They combine all this very well,
as everything fits together just so. Vocalist Markku Kuikka has
a perfect tone and hits awesome high notes. Jarno is a guitar
wizard, and he delivers amazing riffs. In fact, the negative
space between his notes are just as awesome, as he is extremely
adept at many time signatures.
Drummer Make Lievonen and bassist JJ Hjelt perform memorably on
the rhythm section with bombast and skill. Lastly, Jukka Karinen
delivers the goods with some massive keyboard lines.
However, I could write this about a few dozen other bands, too.
The musicianship is through the roof here, but the creativity is
nowhere to be found. This is the same power metal you've heard
100 times. In fact, Kenziner sounds almost exactly like my
favorite power metal band, Canada's Borealis---down to the
unique tone to the keyboards, though Borealis must be influenced
by Kenziner. This is a good thing, though, as I was immediately
sucked into the music during the fantastic keys on "Run for Your
This album, then, is not a disappointment. It's standard power
metal on all fronts, but it's done really well and it will
satisfy that metal itch everyone has. My favorite tracks include
the aforementioned "Run for Your Life", "I Am Eternal", and the
kinetic "No Turning Back", and the title track that ends the
album. These songs are appropriately epic and catchy, just like
the rest of the album. So, then, "The Last Horizon", despite its
flaws, is an enjoyable ride that borders on brilliant at times.
It will not take the world by storm, but it will certainly earn
more fans worldwide. Power metal fans should definitely give
Kenziner's new album a try.