Naked On the Black Floor
posted on 4/2006 By:
Man, these bands are popping up like worms on a sidewalk after a thunderstorm nowadays. Event Horizon, like Eden’s Fall, Symphorce and a number of others, are practitioners of a relatively new school of metal that involves a blend of death, thrash, and prog metal instrumentation with power metal-styled vox. The obvious comparison here is (who else?) Nevermore, but Event Horizon is hardly a straight clone act. There’s enough going on here to create a fairly distinct identity, but the structures and songwriting elements are unfortunately scatterbrained enough that Naked on the Black Floor is a disconcerting and sometimes awkward listen.
Though Naked on the Black Floor is technically Event Horizon’s debut full length, this Italian act has been putting out releases since 1999, including a ‘promo full length’ entitled Year: Zero. The band has obviously carved out something of a character over their seven years together, and put on a good show of mixing a broad variety of melodic motifs and riff types together in each song. After a typically useless introductory track, “Deconstructed” kicks off with some very businesslike death metal groove and a menacing (but, of course, still soaring and whatnot) trad-flavored chorus. “Bited” (the band’s English is shoddy) and “The Flying Feather” see the band venturing into some familiar prog-thrash territory, while “The Road to Myself” features a clever slap-bass solo that flows into a shred session by lead guitarist Riccardo Rebughini. “Fragments of Insanity” even fiddles with some off-time Meshuggah-ism before reigning itself in for a vox-driven finish.
Naked on the Black Floor is hardly all clear sailing though. Event Horizon aren’t universally prudent with their songwriting and choice of arrangements; chiefly problematic are the regular and universally awkward electronica injections that appear throughout this album. Some bands can pull off the whole chugga-chugga-bleep-boop thing (Red Harvest and The Project Hate MCMXCIX come to mind), but here they’re just clumsily placed and disruptive to the music’s flow. Gianluigi Girardi’s vocals are another problem area; he can reach some impressive heights with his vibrato-laden pipes, but the falsetto shrieks really don’t mesh too well with the music. The rest of the time Girardi’s voice seems either too loud or too soft, and the man never quite summons the power to lay down genuinely memorable melodies.
Despite Event Horizon’s longish history, Naked on the Black Floor sounds very much like a high-average rookie album. Plenty of potential here, but as they stand, Event Horizon isn’t likely to make a huge impact. Some time to get their creative ducks in a row would do this band well.
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