ALBUM REVIEW: Horisont – Sudden Death

Release Date: May 15th 2020
Label: Century Media Records


The term “rock and roll revival” is often met with utter disdain. The general consensus being that the genre had its time in the sun, was of a very specific era, and any attempts to cash in on nostalgia are nothing but negligible and insincere.

Bands like Wolfmother, The Sword, and Red Fang have accrued almost an equal number of detractors as they have followers. Even Greta Van Fleet have done quite a lot of damage on their own, defanging and repurposing the formula of Led Zeppelin for bite-size gratification.

Enter Horisont; a Swedish 70s style prog ‘n’ roll group with more authenticity and expertise in their baby toes than most of their peers could ever hope to muster. Rather than merely combing through the immediate strengths and classic tropes of the genre, plucking equal parts Black Sabbath, Status Quo and Thin Lizzy (which are all prevalent influences here) like most rock revivalists are known to do, these Scandinavian songsters exude a remarkably deeper passion and knowledge.

Influences come from a bevy of truly retro artists such as Eddie Money, Dakota, and Gary O’, to name but a few. There’s even dashes of ELO and Emerson, Lake & Palmer sprinkled throughout, with gorgeous piano-laden melodies coalescing seamlessly with the fuzzy, pristine guitar work.

Since their 2012 breakout, ‘Second Assault’, the band have shown immense care and respect to a genre that they not only seek to replicate or bastardise, but actively contribute. With ‘Sudden Death’, their sixth full-length, and the result of three intensive years of writing and recording, Horisont have crafted what can and will be regarded as their magnum opus.

Opening single, ‘Revolution’, is a bold, brazen, and beautiful affair with velvety harmonies, sun-drenched keys, and blues-rock rumbling guitars that all compliment each other with awe-inspiring clarity. From there on, it’s a continuous slew of instant classics, such as ‘Free Riding’ and ‘Breaking The Chain’, that deny any semblance of the modern age. The production is startling in its commendable (and successful) attempts to imbue the material with a true 70s aesthetic. From the glimmering push of the keys, to the compressed and sparse fluctuation in the drumming.

Where so many others fall short of attempting to do it better than the all time greats, Horisont have fully realised their goal of no longer merely standing on the shoulders of giants, but walking with them, side-by-side.