Horasan is set to release their first EP in the coming weeks, and to say I’m excited would be an understatement. Featuring members of Haken, To-Mera, Gehtika and Annihilator, not only is the band made up of incredibly talented, seasoned musicians, but the aesthetics of the band are also just up my street thanks to the heavy inspiration from Japanese mythology and folklore. Definitely my favourite cover artwork of the year already!
By the time I was halfway through the first track of the EP, Mononoke, I was already blown away by both the production value and the masterful blend of classic Death/Thrash instrumentals and great clean vocals that are highly reminiscent of Ghost to create a sound of I’ve not heard anything quite like. Moving on to track two Akuma, listeners are treated to crushing yet catchy riffs, and some great atmosphere that helps create this feeling of a theatrical hell, which is fitting due to Akuma translating roughly to Fire-Devil. With an incredible chorus that just grabs hold and refuses to let go, it’s here that the ghost influence truly shines in all its glory.
Ningyo is the third track up and the level of the atmosphere created in the opening moments is something I’ve struggled to find in a release like this outside of The Devin Townsend Project, with some truly great vocals to bring together the instruments into this theatrical experience. Finally, we have Goryo, the most metal release of the EP featuring crushing riffs, catchy choruses and an immense groove that you can’t help but headbang to while bringing in elements of Diamond Eye’s era Deftones.
Horasan has aimed to create what they can only refer to as an Anti-Elitism EP that is designed to break down the mindset of Metal Elitists. Without any shadow of doubt, they succeeded. The blend of clean vocals and monstrous Death/Thrash Metal instrumentals is seamless and helps create a sound I’ve never heard anything like before finding Ghost and Devin Townsend. If you’re sick of the status quo of metal, sick of metal elitism and just want a damn good, fun release full of catchy hooks and great riffs, then Horasan’s debut EP is for you.