ALTA REIGN – Upon The Horizon
December 8, 2023, 3 months ago
Jeff Plate is no stranger to spreading his wings for creative music. Having drummed for Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Metal Church, the past couple years has seen Plate join up with TSO keyboardist Jane Mangini in Alta Reign and Upon The Horizon is the group’s second record. Upon The Horizon is adventurous prog that teeters on the bridge of rock and metal and the warm vocal duo of Tommy Cook and Collin Holloway makes this more accessible to the casual listener.
If there is any vibe similar to Savatage/TSO, it’s opening instrumental “Reverent” with its bombastic piano chords and shredding guitars in the latter part of the 4-minute track. The most metal the six-piece becomes is following number and riff heavy “No Madness” and the whirling closer “Animation”. 7 minute title track also lets loose in the closing minutes and is an impressive number with bright vocal hooks.
Then there’s the rockier numbers like “Between The Eyes” that reminds of ‘80s Rainbow and the 6-minute soft ballad that features the use of a banjo with beautiful vocal harmonies that brings Nelson to mind.
The one song that misses the mark is “Tip Of My Tongue” where the rhythmic ideas don’t mesh well together, but overall Upon The Horizon succinctly melds the sounds of ‘90s prog metal with late-‘70s/early ’80s prog rock. The creativity is boundless and look forward to what they can conjure up on a third record.