Released: 2014, A
Man what is going on in The Midlands? This region in the UK is producing amazing bands lately and Reason is another in a line of promising bands whose quality rivals Daylight Robbery (a great band, check ‘em out if you missed them!). BEYOND THE DARK HORIZON is the follow-up EP to 2011’s well-received THE DARKEST STAR. Formed in 2009, Reason is a five-piece band that skillfully blends elements of melodic metal, hard rock, and a small dose of progressive metal to achieve a timeless sound firmly rooted in tradition. Citing a range of influences that include Iron Maiden, Dio, White Sister, and Rush there is much for the traditional metal fan to appreciate on BEYOND THE DARK HORIZON.
With four songs, BEYOND THE DARK HORIZON is a bite sized sample of the band capabilities, and lead-off track “Synchronized” as the title implies, is the most progressive and complex tune, with a few twisty but memorable opening riffs before progressing into a NWOBHM gallop for the verse. Paul Mace’s vocals are instantly recognizable, working within the music while avoiding overblown histrionics. His range and timbre are actually quite similar to Vincent Cavanagh’s of Anathema, who is undoubtedly a major influence on Mace. “Sacrifice” recalls Dream Theater’s blend of keyboards and guitar on IMAGES AND WORDS but without the progressive technicality. Closing tune “Rise” is an old tune from the band’s past and was remixed by renowned 80s metal sound man Beau Hill, who retains the overall sound of the rest of the EP but adds some punch to the rhythm section. Likewise, this song is probably the most firmly rooted in 80s style riffs and feel.
Credit Sweden’s Alienation Records with helping to provide decent production and support for the band. The keyboards perhaps saturate the songs more than necessary, reminding me in many ways of Europe’s THE FINAL COUNTDOWN keyboards. The drums lack force, but overall the album has a modern vibe while retaining vintage qualities in the keyboards and guitar tone. Ultimately, BEYOND THE DARK HORIZON succeeds despite its Indie feel at times and is a nice teaser for fans before the next full-length release. Reason is a band that should appeal to fans of classic 80s hard rock and melodic metal, particularly those bands with a decided leaning towards Euro-keyboard tendencies.