Over a decade of songwriting workmanship comes to a head, with the 6th album from Sweden’s rock grandmasters HORISONT. Formed in 2006, the band’s 14 year career started with the first-class sounds of the 70s and has continued to revive and reinvigorate the finest aspects of rock divinity ever since, with each album becoming more satisfyingly epic, complex and diverse. HORISONT’s “Sudden Death” supercharges their mountainous ascent in an immediate explosion of rich and intricately created songs, but in it’s conception was an artfully crafted 3-year labour of love. The pay-off for HORISONT’s dedicated handiwork is a confidently sumptuous album of monumental, anthemic stadium-sized rock choruses, twin-guitar harmonies, and symphonic piano-laden rock that is as rare as it is catchy and captivating.
Taking musical cues from a multitude of classic bands like Eddie Money, The Babys, LeRoux, Airrace, GaryO, Dakota, Dwayne Ford and Gowan, to lyrical influences steeped in the American country music poetics of George Jones, and Conway Twitty, HORISONT’s rock language overflows with character and references. The joy from both the band and the HORISONT listener is a shared revelry of humbucker-worship to the song-smith giants of the golden eras of soundcraft, brought forward with uncanny finesse into the modern world.
From the raucous rolling hard rock blues of “Tva Sidor Av Horisonten” (2009), “Second Assault” (2012), “Time Warriors” (2013), “Odyssey” (2015) to “About Time’s” (2017) break-out classic sci-fi rock, HORISONT have continued to shift-gears and expand the colours in their riff-palette. Having earned their special place in the hearts of the heavy underground, with a dedicated international audience in thrall to the stunning energy of their live shows, HORISONT are a fearlessly inventive tour-de-force of heavy rock.
Vocalist Axel declares that “Our mission was to make the record that WE wanted to do, and not what people expect us to do,” and it is with this irreverent and devil-may-care attitude that HORISONT let’s their music run wild with abandon, undeniably electrifying and moving the listener the way real rock and roll should, a middle finger to current trends. Finding soulmates in those who bow before the ancient greats such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Cactus and Thin Lizzy, “Sudden Death”’s masterclass of sure-fire hits, such as “Free Riding”
with it’s cascading piano, synths and wall of harmonies, or the lush Americana of “Standing
Here”, have us singing along and fist-pumping the air one after the other.
With Axel’s lyrics about solace and rites of passage after the passing of his best friend, the themes on “Sudden Death” take on a deep, poignant and euphoric spirit. From “Sail On”’s getting through the tough times, to the anthemic uplifting support of “Hold On”’s inspiring thrust, we are filled with the nostalgic life-affirming hymn that is the celebration at the heart of HORISONT. Axel dubs their modus operandi “going beyond what you see and think is possible. Better, harder, faster, higher,” and with this their music guarantees one thing above all, once you get high with HORISONT you will never want to come down.