Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Horisont-Second Assault

Metal Blade Records / Rise Above Records

Is it just me or does it seem as if I've had a lot of promos lately that have come from Sweden? You don't have to answer that question as I know that it is true. What is it about the place though? Is it something in the air? Something in their DNA? Or do they simply give every child an instrument as soon as they learn to walk? I wish I knew. With that said today's latest Swedish import is Horisont (Swedish for horizon) and just in case you hadn't already guessed by the title this is the band's sophomore release. The band made their debut on the scene with the well-received album "Två Sidor Av Horisonten". Translated that means "Two sides of (the) horizon". Now, as for the sound of these Swedish rockers? Well, just like on their debut album Horisont's brand of heavy rock/hard metal is drenched in all things seventies. The promo lets us know that Horisont was "nurtured in the same fertile 70's rock-rich soil that gave us Witchcraft and Graveyard". It would be a great disservice though if we were to cut short the list of influences at just Witchcraft and Graveyard right? We certainly can't go on without mentioning bands like Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Pentagram, Thin Lizzy, Grand Funk , Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac and Wishbone Ash. That sounds like rather an odd mash-up of bands I know. Black Sabbath and Fleetwood Mac? Weird. And yet, without sounding too improbable, it somehow all works out in the end. You certainly get the sense that these Swedes know their rock history well and appreciate the fact that loud (and often times raw) twin guitars, a tight rhythm and a serious front-man don't have to be all hip or modern to get the job done these days. Bands like Horisont are what I call real rock and roll. They don't come off as retro or as some sort of gimmick. Instead the band plays with the spirit of the seventies as a guide and, in their own way and style, create a brand of rock the doesn't have to rely on fashion trends or fancy videos. They make the genre sound cool again by playing old fashioned hard rock/heavy metal that still sounds gritty and powerful. I'd say this is one of 2012's best all around seventies inspired releases.

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