Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Horisont - Time Warriors (album review)

Horisont was one of the first of the Scandanavian retro rockin' bands that I discovered, right after Devil, I believe, and I was blown away.  I don't remember what song it was that I heard which set my ears on fire, but I remember trying desperately to track the CD down for something like six months and having no luck, it was either sold out or over priced.  Eventually I ordered it from Scrape on Broadway and I picked it up sometime around a year ago.  That was the last time I ventured out that way.  Fuck!  It's been almost a whole year since I went to Scrape ... so sad.  This story actually has two unhappy endings because after a half a year's build up of being excited to hear 'Second Assault', when it finally entered my earholes it shriveled up and died there on that first listen.  In other words, I was underwhelmed.

Now the band has returned and out of nowhere they have created what may be the year's best album of its kind.  Long hair and mustaches meet warm low end grooves and are piled high with '70's boogie woogie.  Balls out wailing vocals are draped in an overdose of denim.  In many ways there's nothing new here and yet in many ways, this has been a completely unexpected record because 'Time Warriors' documents a band reaching the peak of their brilliantly high potential.

After all this time, Horisont has managed to rekindle that initial excitement I had when I first heard them and they sustain it over the course of 10 strong numbers.  The Horisont style is back in full measure and in finer form.  It's my guess that experience has streamlined the band's musical vision, proggy turnarounds and quick run scales abut face melting riffs on all sides.  Not a moment is wasted.  The song structures are tight but the playing is loose giving the record that live feeling bands crave while still being well recorded.  Once more that deep, deep, warm low end makes this record perfectly suited for the turntable.

'Time Warriors' blows my mind with its rock and roll simplicity.  "Diamonds in Orbit", "Brother", "Eyes of the Father", "She Cried Wolf" are all hectic highlights, but then again, one would struggle to find any low lights on this disc.  Until the tenth and final track, "All Must Come To an End ..." spins in, no song eclipses the four minute mark.  There's no meandering here, no noodling and no unnecessary exploration.  All that work had been finished before the band entered the studio.  "Backstreet" and "Dödsdans" perfectly capture a Thin Lizzy vibe from harmonic guitars to lyrical subject matter (well, I can't vouch for the Svensk "Dödsdans", but "Backstreet" is pure Phil Lynott) and are bolstered by a sympathetic recording once again.

It's not that 'Second Assault' wasn't a good record.  Maybe the anticipation had built too high and my expectations were all skewed towards disappointment.  I've re-listened to it in preparation for this review and it's still not grabbing me.  All the ingredients are there, but they just don't come together in the right way.  'Time Warriors' gets it just right.  If Witchcraft's re-shuffling of the retro rocking deck on the 'Legend' album provided some veteran direction to the scores of Scandanavian bands who appear to be lost-in-time, Horisont prove that there's no need to escape from the parallel universe just yet.  There's still a lot of life left in this subgenre.  This is a short record at 33 minutes in length, but at 10 fully realized, fast-moving songs, it still makes for a satisfying listen and any more songs might have been overkill.  I get the feeling that all of the good ideas made it onto wax here anyway because this is a power packed album, concentrated for full impact.

Highlights include: "Diamonds in Orbit" and "Eyes of the Father"

Rating: 5/5

1). Writing on the Wall (3:50)
2). Diamonds in Orbit (2:57)
3). Ain't No Turning Back (3:31)
4). Backstreet (3:14)
5). Vänd Tillbaka (3:11)
6). She Cried Wolf (3:24)
7). Brother (3:04)
8). Dödsdans (2:43)
9). Eyes of the Father (3:02)
10). All Must Come to an End ... (5:19)
Total Run Time: 33:09

Axel - Vocals
Charles - Guitar
Kristofer - Guitar
Magnus - Bass
Pontus - Drums

From: Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Retro Rock, Hard Rock

Reminds me of: Brutus, Graveyard, Kadavar

Release Date: October 1, 2013

Horisont on facebook


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...