The Dark Horizon

This spring, two US-based, keyboard-heavy, melodic death metal bands will be releasing their second albums respectively. One, Philadelphia’s Malphas with Portal (via M-Theory Audio), and this album from Seattle’s more old-school influenced Veriteras.

And it’s not even close to who the winner is as The Dark Horizon is absolutely stunning.  Part of my enjoyment of Veriteras is their 90s Swedish influence from Dark Tranquillity and Skyfire, but also Finnish bands like Mors Principium Est, Children of Bodom, and Kalmah, especially the heavily used 90s-styled keyboards. A more recent comparison would be Spain’s Aeolian or France’s Aephenamer. If you like either of those bands, seek this out immediately.

Also bolstering my enjoyment are the pure earworm songs that are catchy, bouncy, and memorable, just like their peers and influences’ classic material. I mean just listen to the second track “Celestial Darkness” with a folky little intro that could have come from Of Chaos and Eternal Night,  the third track “Abyss” with a joyously melodic canter or the urgently melodic “Sanctuary”.

And that’s just a few that immediately jumped out at me, the rest of the short,  succinct songs all carry some sort of shredding lead work, hooky riffs, melodic tremolo blast (“Blinding”), or even a sudden clean vocal bridge (“Last Rites”), and even female vocals (superb closing standout “Light in the Darkness”). All of it is driven by infectious, dancing dual guitar melodies and those killer classic keyboards that carry over seamlessly from the 2022 debut, Shadow of Death.

And the whole thing is wrapped in a sumptuous Dan Swano mix/master that makes everything jump out the speakers with even more classic hues and makes The Dark Horizon a clear winner vs Malpas or more than likely, any other similar releases that might drop this year

Top fucking notch.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 23rd, 2024


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