Learning history the heavy-power metal way with New Horizon’s album “Conquerors”

Author Julia Suloinen - 28.5.2024

I bet, when you meet the words “metal” and “history” in one sentence, the first band that comes to your mind is Sabaton, but they are soon to be not the only ones spicing up metalheads’ curiousity in historical events and personalities, as New Horizon‘s new album “Conquerors” is on its way and ready to blow your mind not only with the perfect extra quality blend of power and heavy metal with a strong modern production, but also by a diversity of the themes undisclosed: from Jesus Christ to the Space Race during the Cold War. The album comes out via Frontiers Music on the 14th of June.

Meanwhile, “Conquerors” album is truly a new stage in band’s own history, and not only because of it being kinda a concept album this time, but also because this time the voice of the album is not Erik Grenwall who left the project after the first album due to business with Skid Row, but Nils Molin (Dynazty, Amaranthe), and though the vocal skills of both singers are equally undoubtedly outstanding, I must confess, that Mr.Molin’s voice sounds more natural surrounded by all those modern power metal arrangements aka its natural habitat.

So the album kickstarts with a banger “Against The Odds”, which begins with a cinematic symphonic intro which in 30 seconds starts rapidly growing its speed power metal shape and delivers a wholesome impression of an army on galloping horses. Listening to the “King Of Kings”, I couldn’t help recalling a legendary rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” and really enjoyed the atmosphere, created by the organ tunes and that dramatic pause in the second part. Intentional or not – it’s a nice hommage to Christian metal, I must say. By the way, lyric-wise, unlike aforementioned Sabaton songs, songs on “Conquerors” album are less straight to the point and more riddle-ish, that’s what makes them so interesting to listen to! Yet, I sincerely hope there will be a track by track explanation someday…

Going further we have another single “Daimyo” about the samurai elite. Energetic song, slightly resembling to Dio‘s “Holy Diver”, but faster. The song gets more authentic only closer to the ending, with all those horns and stuff.
In “Shadow Warrior” we enjoy a vivid bass-line with riffs breaking into the verse slightly and accompanying the vocals perfectly and, of course, a fascinating keyboard versus guitar solo thing, that, I think, balances the general aggressiveness of the song with it’s flight like melody. Speaking about flight, the next song – “Apollo” – released as a recent single is an epic cosmic story about the Space Race during the Cold War. The solemnness of the song is mind-blowing – from the first symphonic passage to the countdown, followed by the awesome speeding up, which is the greatest musical presentation of a rocket launch I have ever heard. Shivers were racing down my spine just as fast as that passage, man what a blast!

“Fallout War” is jumping on you like a furious animal. Vocally, maybe it’s the lowest and most aggressive performance by Nils, I even got curious if he could go extreme vocals someday. Here, besides riffs shredding alongside with the drums we hear another magnificent guitar solo, and this passage, like a ray of light, contrasts with sinister music. The expressiveness of the album keeps the pace in the next song “Messenger Of The Stars” about Galileo Galilei versus Inquisition, another amazing song filled with drive and sympho elements alà medieval music. Can’t help saying that I truly applause the idea of this album.

In the next “Before the Dawn” song we leave the Eden with Adam and Eve, and it’s a marvelous ballad with a brilliant guest female singer. Performing on such topic together demands a big level of chemistry between singers, and inviting Nils’ Amaranthe bandmate Elize Ryd for this one was a remarkable idea! This is the type of song you wait to escalate and pour it’s heaviness on you finally, and I adore how gently yet powerfully the development of the song goes.

“Edge of Insanity” starts with a teasing disclaimer introduction and is groovy AF, cool bass stands out a little, but everything is still pretty balanced, with a hooky chorus, and avalanche of keys that goes in turns with bell like slight melodies. Sad I didn’t recognize whom this song is about, I’m extremely curious! While in the next song “Alexander The Great(356-323 B.C.)” it was pretty easy:) The intro on this one is more than 1.30 minutes long, with speech lines, marching drums, and a sinister guitar tune. This song truly possesses some crazy energy, the vocal performance is far beyond expressive and the long instrumental passage delivers the strong late 70s heavy vibe with an unpredictable tempo change. So those raspy expressive vocals breaking back in catch us fully hypnotized. And that is the state in which we are moving towards the end of the “Conquerors” album.

And what I can say is: “OMG, what a ride it was!”. Objectively, it’s a super high quality strong metal album that united all the best features of power, heavy and modern metal, blending them all in the most balanced way, so it sounds as natural as possible, you know, just like breathing. Nils Molin fits into this album that organically, as if he’s been a part of New Horizon for eternity. And lyrically and story-wise “Conquerors” carries a great value from culturological standpoint. Subjectively, well, new fan here.