Horisont – Sudden Death
Horisont from Gothenburg, Sweden is a band I’ve followed for a long time. Now we’ve come so far together as the sixth full lenght album; “Sudden Death”. The usual style for Horisont is classic seventies rock, sometimes crossing over to a heavy metal-ish sound. Knowing this, I was surprised to say the least when I heard the opening song “Revolution”.
This is AOR. This is extremely melodic eighties AOR. It’s good, but it’s AOR. The problem with this, is that I have almost never listened to AOR. I like Horisont because I’m a huge old school fan overall, but mainly I’m into heavy metal, black metal, death metal, doom metal and that kind of stuff, so excuse me if this review will be written by far from an expert in the subject of AOR.
Now, I definitely hear some ELO as I listen to “Sudden Death”. I think I hear some Queen? Some ABBA? Some softer Thin Lizzy? I also hear some later days melodic The Hellacopters. As you can tell this is a record with wide range and a lot of variation.
Even though this is a genre I’m not quite familiar with, I must say this is really good. The sound is warm and perfect for the music and many of the songs are top class. I dare anyone to not get a smile on their face from the action movie saxophone on “Into The Night”. Another very cinematic song is “Breaking The Chain”, which is one of the songs on “Sudden Death” that makes me feel like I’m watching “Rocky IV” or something.
I also have some other favourites to mention, where the amazing “Runaway” is number one. Excellent riff and a song that is among the best this year for sure. Then we have the single “Pushin’ The Line”, as well as the Swedish “Gråa Dagar”, which sounds like a mix of Sweden’s household heroes Ted Gärdestad and Pugh Rogefeldt together with the sadly overlooked Den Stora Vilan.
Horisont play everything from pop to rock – and even jazz on the closing track “Archaeopteryx In Flight” – on “Sudden Death” and they do it so well. This is a really fun album to listen to and is is blossoming with ideas and musicality. One hundred percent not what I expected from Horisont, but still a record I liked way more than I thought I would since this really isn’t my cup of tea usually.
When it comes to trying new ideas, Horisont very much succeded where Witchcraft failed with “Black Metal”. If that was an album where you just sat and wished for the band to return to their original style, then “Sudden Death” is the kind of record where you wholeheartedly embrace the band’s new path, simply because they do it so well.
If you like AOR and melodic rock, you should really pick this one up and even if you are not I still advice you to at least check it out. It’s quite good.
PS. It’s worth going for the limited edition with the two extra songs “White Light” and “Reign Of Madness”. Both are excellent, especially the later, which is on the more heavy side.
Title: Sudden Death
Label: Century Media Records
Date of release: 15/5-20
Time: 1hr (with bonus tracks)
Stand out track: Runaway