September 4, 2020

This is an album that was released last year but has only just made it to us so apologies for the rather belated review. This is the debut release by the Italian progressive metal band Chaos Factory and it is an epic concept album that has been something like five years in the making. Of course, it had to be an epic concept album, how could it be anything else from an Italian prog rock band, and very grandiose it is too being, and I quote, ‘a journey through the mechanics that characterise the human being’ which is all very metaphysical.

The band responsible for such an elaborate affair is Francesco Vadori on vocals, Luca Moser and Mattia Carli on guitars, Diana Aprile on drums and Fabio Sartori on bass. It is a double CD apparently with deluxe packaging although it comes in at 76-minutes which would have comfortably fit on a single disc. The main reason for this appears to be that the work is split into the two separate parts called Perception and Myth. Sadly, you do not get to experience the whole package as a work of art when simply reviewing a download copy and I have always considered the artwork is an integral part of the ‘experience’ so it is sad that this part is under played in the ever increasing download market of today. In terms of the music, there is so much happening here as the band switch styles with ease so that it is a heady mixture of symphonic metal, progressive rock, electronica and classical passages. This is an album crying out to be listened to on headphones where you experience the full range of styles and emotions that the band imparts into their music. At times, you do begin to wonder just what is happening and what will happen next but progressive music has always been about the unexpected and you get so much of that here. At times the music is bombastic and heavy with neo-classical guitar breaks aplenty, then it is orchestral and ethereal and when you feel that you are just starting to come to grips with it then the children’s choir kicks in making this thoroughly compelling and different cornucopia of delights. The only real way to fully absorb the complexities of what is happening is to switch off from the world, totally immerse yourself in the music and go with the flow. It’s almost like the band has thrown in every musical style they know and every production technique at their disposal but it works and it works big style.

I’m sure this will be an album that polarises opinion but it demands to be heard and you will either believe it to be utterly bonkers or compelling and possibly the greatest thing you have ever heard. Whichever one it is, Horizon is a journey you have to take and proof again, if we ever needed it, that the Italians know how to make progressive music.

Horizon track list

Human Orogeny (5:53); Crystalline (3:12); We Believe (3:52); Juggernaut is Coming (3:39)’ Affinità Morenti (1:38); Whispers in the Dark (4:32); Universal Flow (3:32); Horizon (6:41) Come Lacrime nella Pioggia (3.34): Running Wild (5:31): Sins of the Lambs (3:53); Olychrome Glows (1:41); Ans Zarathustra sais: Horizon (1:58); Sento la morte nel sogno che viene (1:59); Drying her Tears (1:59); In the Dephts of the Void (3:34); L’ultima Madre (7:31), The Doom of Destiny (1:40); Nel Profondo dell’Universo (1:51); Blue Steams (1:01); Al Calar della Luce (2:52); Chaos Variation XVII (3:48)