By Matt Mattei - [email protected]

Mountain Top metal trio Black Horizon debuts new EP, books release show

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Bassist Zack Gabel, 18, of Lehman is the newest addition to metal band Black Horizon. Guitarist and vocalist Ricky Wells said Gabel was instrumental in rekindling the band’s high energy live performances and was part of the mutual inspiration members experienced among one another in the studio.
Amanda Hrycyna | For Weekender
Drummer Tyler Snipas, 17, of Mountain Top, keeps time during a recent Black Horizon recording session. Snipas is a founding member of the band and has evolved with the group, frontman Ricky Wells said.
Amanda Hrycyna | For Weekender
Guitarist and lead vocalist for Black Horizon, Ricky Wells, 17, of Mountain Top, performs during a recent studio session. The band’s latest EP, ‘Dethrone,’ was released today through DistroKid and other major digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
Amanda Hrycyna | For Weekender

Bolstered by a new bass player and coming off of an encouraging studio session, a local metal trio is poised to release a new record.

Black Horizon, a Mountain Top-based thrash outfit, debuts its latest EP, “Dethrone,” today, and founding member Ricky Wells said the album accomplishes a goal the band has been pushing toward since forming in 2015. The band will perform to celebrate the release during an evening of music that begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Sherman Showcase (formerly the Living Room) in Stroudsburg and also features E57, Enda Vera and Terrorize This.

After recording three original songs in one day last year, Black Horizon got the opportunity to revisit those tunes with more attention to detail, and they wrote two new songs to round out “Dethrone,” which features five originals.

“We took more time to do this,” guitarist and lead vocalist Wells said in a recent interview. “It was what we were going for the last time.”

Wells and drummer Tyler Snipas, both of Mountain Top, started the project as students at Crestwood High School — where they both still attend — and their friendship and passion for the music has kept the band moving forward despite inconsistencies on bass.

Their newest addition, Zack Gabel, 18, of Lehman, solidifies the current lineup.

“When he (Gabel) came in, we were at a place of uncertainty,” Wells, 17, said. “He was originally a guitar player. His style is like a bassist; he uses lower strings. When he was younger, he broke his arm, so it’s difficult for him to play how I would, say. The first show we had was at the Coal Mine Tap Room in (Saint Claire), and mid-show, we were looking around at each other like, ‘Wow, this is what we were looking for.”

Wells looked back on his history with Snipas, 17, who was trained as a percussionist in the Crestwood marching band before sitting behind the drum kit to start Black Horizon.

“We’ve known each other for a very long time,” Wells said. “He bashed away on a $100 kit my mom could afford. He’s evolved since then; his timing is better. We have (evolved) as a band. It’s just a matter of staying inspired.”

Bringing Gabel into the studio with him and Snipas, Wells said, was integral to the trio’s creative process.

“I can sit there all day and come up with riffs, but I can’t put it all together unless they’re all there,” Wells said of his bandmates. The writer’s block we get individually seems to go away when we’re all in the same room.”

Black Horizon’s new release, Wells said, brings together elements of their older influences — like Black Sabbath, Slayer and Metallica — and their contemporary favorites like Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot.

“With our old school inspirations, the songs themselves are exactly that,” Wells said. “We locked in to what we were trying to do. Going back to older stuff and putting new twists on it is more original than trying to do something similar to current bands. We’re listening to our influence, but we’re experimenting with sound.”

Recording with a local producer — the individual requested to go unnamed — who provided vintage instruments and amplifiers helped Black Horizon tap into the metal that laid the foundation for their work.

“We took the time to get the right sound out of each instrument,” Wells said. “We spent time layering guitar tracks and focusing on vocals. We also tried to capture that live sound we seem to have at some of our shows. I hope when somebody listens to (the EP), they get the same type of vintage sound I get listening to Pantera on an ’80s stereo.”

With their album release approaching, Wells gave kudos to the Sherman Showcase’s booking team.

“They’re dealing with more local bands, trying to launch bands like us on a higher platform,” Wells said.

In regard to their bill-mates for Feb. 27, Wells also had praise.

“We wanted to play with people we respected the most as musicians,” he said. “This show has a bunch of different variations of rock.”

Bassist Zack Gabel, 18, of Lehman is the newest addition to metal band Black Horizon. Guitarist and vocalist Ricky Wells said Gabel was instrumental in rekindling the band’s high energy live performances and was part of the mutual inspiration members experienced among one another in the studio.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_Black-Horizon-5.jpgBassist Zack Gabel, 18, of Lehman is the newest addition to metal band Black Horizon. Guitarist and vocalist Ricky Wells said Gabel was instrumental in rekindling the band’s high energy live performances and was part of the mutual inspiration members experienced among one another in the studio. Amanda Hrycyna | For Weekender

Drummer Tyler Snipas, 17, of Mountain Top, keeps time during a recent Black Horizon recording session. Snipas is a founding member of the band and has evolved with the group, frontman Ricky Wells said.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_blackhorizon-6.jpgDrummer Tyler Snipas, 17, of Mountain Top, keeps time during a recent Black Horizon recording session. Snipas is a founding member of the band and has evolved with the group, frontman Ricky Wells said. Amanda Hrycyna | For Weekender

Guitarist and lead vocalist for Black Horizon, Ricky Wells, 17, of Mountain Top, performs during a recent studio session. The band’s latest EP, ‘Dethrone,’ was released today through DistroKid and other major digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_blackhorizon-3.jpgGuitarist and lead vocalist for Black Horizon, Ricky Wells, 17, of Mountain Top, performs during a recent studio session. The band’s latest EP, ‘Dethrone,’ was released today through DistroKid and other major digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Amanda Hrycyna | For Weekender
Black Horizon taps into metal roots, provides new twist

By Matt Mattei

[email protected]

‘Dethrone’

Available at DistroKid.com, Amazon.com, Spotify and iTunes. More information about Black Horizon can be found on Facebook at bit.ly/2Ek2tOH and the group’s Bandcamp page at blackhorizon.bandcamp.com.

Album release show

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sherman Showcase, 522 Main St., Stroudsburg

Additional information: The evening of music also features E57, Enda Vera and Terrorize This. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show and are available online at ticketf.ly/2Bt5VrV.

Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.

Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.

‘Dethrone’

Available at DistroKid.com, Amazon.com, Spotify and iTunes. More information about Black Horizon can be found on Facebook at bit.ly/2Ek2tOH and the group’s Bandcamp page at blackhorizon.bandcamp.com.

Album release show

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sherman Showcase, 522 Main St., Stroudsburg

Additional information: The evening of music also features E57, Enda Vera and Terrorize This. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show and are available online at ticketf.ly/2Bt5VrV.