Album Review: Horizon Ablaze – The Weight of a Thousand Suns

HOR1_cover_previewRelease date: 16th February

Label: Leviatan/Diger

Now, this band was a mystery to me before being asked to listen to this new album of theirs. So, I had absolutely no assumptions on what I was going to be listening to. They state their genre as ‘Extreme Metal’ which couldn’t be any broader, the only thing that they do give away really is that they are Norwegian. Those of you who know the Norwegian Metal scene, know it to be bursting with incredible bands, that pretty much epitomised the term ‘Extreme’.  Game on!

The first thing you notice is those dirty ass vocals, thrown out violently across the tracks. An onslaught to the senses, but pure beauty to the well-trained metal ears. Getting the point across was clearly the game plan for these guys, and well executed it is.

There are a couple of WTF moments. Freaking clean vocals. Where the hell did they come from? And, most importantly, they are good. Too many bands are trying to clean stuff and getting it so, so wrong! These guys have thrown them in, they are well executed and clearly filled with emotion.

Dark, dulcet tones mixed with minor chords giving you the black metal feel that’s so well known in Norway. But mixed with some serious melodic undertones this album doesn’t conform to the one genre.

Guitar flurries dotted around every track, really encouraging the transitions between riffs. They have clearly worked on getting these spot on to help the flow of each track and it’s worked a treat.

Production is good. You know how you can tell production is good? When the blast beats kick in, you can actually hear the snare! It doesn’t disappear under the rest of the banging and crashing that’s going on, it sits there on the top and makes you know its there. And Blast Beats. YES! Nice one!

I’m always a little apprehensive when I’m given an album to listen to where I’ve not heard of the band. Rarely do I feel happy or content with the end result. This sticks out for me! These guys have got it right. They’ve found the balance of aggression and melody. Their elements of chug here and there which make you gurn, the guitar sound, the blasts, oh god yes, the blasts!

A couple of tracks feel a bit like filler for the album. But other than that, they have clearly thought out what they are doing.

I’d buy this. You should buy this.

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Track: Ghost of a Previous Nightmare

Horizon Ablaze can be found here: Facebook, Twitter, Website,