Instrumental rock/metal: when encountering this tag, people will probably immediately think about post rock. After all, post-rock’s the ultimate instrumental rock genre and is immensely popular these days. However, we’re not dealing with a post rock band here. We’re dealing with a progressive metal band that just doesn’t need a vocalist. Face it, who needs vocals when you can make music that is powerful enough to stand on its own?
Second Horizon, a quartet from Cologne in Germany grew tired of negativity and the depressive atmosphere. To cleanse themselves, they started playing music together and somehow this seemed to work pretty well. Well, that last part is my imagination. Anyway, the band has been active since 2009, and “Albdruck” is their first album. It shows an enthusiastic and energetic band, searching their own niche within the instrumental rock world.
The songs on the album are pretty short pieces (two over six minutes) of instrumental rock, placing this band between acts like Kong, Monkey3, Sleepmakeswaves, Mastodon, Tool, etc. Note that these are all mainly live bands and I have a feeling that Second Horizon is no exception. I can imagine this music working very well on stage, probably because one of the most potentially annoying elements, the vocals, are just not present. Instead, Second Horizon treats us to an intense amount of fuzzy riffs, pounding drums and often complicated, almost chaotic and dissonant structures.
Second Horizon’s weapon of choice is distortion, that’s for sure. After the atmospheric intro, “Marter” kicks in with some destructive force, fierce and intense enough to entertain yours truly. The rest of the songs follow similar patterns of heavy passages and short breathers. Highlights are “Repression,” “Panoptikon” and “Denunziation.”
There’s little need for lengthy atmospheric passages. Second Horizon mainly wants to rock and that is perfectly fine. However, I have a feeling that Second Horizon has more potential than they show on “Albdruck,” certainly live. This is a band that can grow and become a solid standout in their chosen niche.
I’m going to keep an eye on Second Horizon and so should every instrumental rock music fan. You don’t often have the chance to see a band grow and become the best version of themselves. With Second Horizon you actually can’t go wrong. This is high-potency rock music with a tremendous DIY-attitude.