Courtesy: Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records
The members of Swedish based rock band Horisont could not have chosen a better name for their band. For those who don’t know, Horisont is Swedish for horizon. So what does that have to do with anything? Everything. For every band and act that wants to hit it big, fame is just over the horizon. It’s in the distance. But for Horisont, the band has reached the horizon (horisont) line and crossed over to major fame in the rock community.
The band’s new album, “Second Assault” is arguably one of the year’s best rock records. There are lots of acts that try to emulate the old school rock/metal sound. But what Horisont does is more than just emulate that classic rock sound. Horisont sounds like it came direct from rock’s golden era. The album itself makes the band’s name fitting, as it starts off very quiet as if the band is off on the horizon before launching into ‘Time Warrior.’ This is one that fans of Deep Purple will love. The band gives listeners just enough time to catch their breaths at the end of ‘Time Warrior’ before going headfirst right back into things with ‘Road to Cairo.’ The softest that the band gets on “Second Assault” is on the seemingly Pink Floyd-esque, ‘Crusaders of Death.’
‘On The Run’ is yet another perfectly fitting piece to this band’s musical puzzle. It’s a straight forward, hard driving piece that will get any true rocker moving. The band’s dual guitar attack, mixed with the Rob Halford/Ozzy style vocals of frontman Axel make this one of the album’s highest of points. And who would ever have imagined Fleetwood Mac being mentioned in the same thought as Ozzy and Rob Halford. But it’s true. ‘Watch Them Die’ shows a pretty obvious Fleetwood Mac influence throughout. And the guitar solos in this piece will even conjure thoughts of Jimi Hendrix, with their styling.
The title track from “Second Assault” kicks off the second half of the album just as strongly as ‘Time Warrior’ kicked off the first half. There’s no denying the Judas Priest influence on on this one, from the vocals to the music as a whole. Axel even gets the high notes with an ease that would make Rob Halford proud. He doesn’t lose his vocal footing even once anywhere in the song. The band barely lets off from there as it segues into ‘Spirit.’ The bluesy/rock fuzz feel of ‘Spirit’ brings to mind so many different influences.
‘Hard Bargain’ especially is an impressive track. It boasts a touch of Jimi Hendrix on the guitars mixed in with the thundering John Bonham-esque drumming from Magnus. Add it together, and audiences get yet another great musical experience. Once the band pounds through ‘Hard Bargain’, there’s jsut one more song on the album. That song is the hard rocking, guitar driven, ‘Thunderflight.’ It’s just as relentless as the rest of the pieces on “Second Assault.” Once it’s all said and done, and ‘Thunderflight’ ends, audiences are left breathless. But it’s a good breathless. From start to finish, this record leaves real rock fans feeling like they haven’t just listened to another album. Rather, it leaves them feeling like they actually just experienced something special. It leaves them wanting more, in a good way, like a really good book. They don’t want it to end, even though they know it has to. And thankfully, just like a book, audiences can listen to it again and again and relive that experience each and every time.
Rise Above Records made a great choice signing Horisont. “Second Assault” is proof of that. Of the ten total songs on the album, there is not one bad song. All combined, “Second Assault” makes for an album that stands on its own two feet among the masses of bands whose albums try to emulate perhaps one classic rock band or another. Horisont has taken the road less traveled, instead, making its own path. Because of that, the band has put itself in place to be a candidate for the best rock record of 2012.
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