Released: 2017, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
This album, ladies and gentlemen, rocks. In "About Time", Gothenburg's Horisont have captured a sound that is both gorgeously, perfectly old-school and yet feels completely authentic, a feat few others have truly pulled off.
"About Time" sounds like an album straight out of the late 70s/early 80s, with hard rock beginning its transition into early metal. Think Blue Oyster Cult or Riot, even Cirith Ungol with less emphasis on blazing guitar work and more on infectious melodies. A more modern comparison that springs to mind is of course Ghost, another purveyor of decidedly old-school sensibilities, but here with less of the theatrical occult vibe.
What stands out most here is how honest and authentic the album sounds, it never feels like it's trying too hard, instead capturing that magic so naturally. This doesn't sound like it's a band paying tribute or trying to recapture the glory days. This IS those days, and it is why they were glorious. It has that irresistible charm, just cheesy enough to demand your attention but never sacrificing your respect. Even the best of "throwback bands" have a tendency to sound like they are striving, even when they pull it off very well. Horisont just get it, and never come across as forced.
That said, it doesn't just rely on that old-school vibe to coast by or use it as a crutch in place of good song-writing. It isn't good -because- it's classic, it's good because it's got what makes this kind of music work: catchy riffwork, masterful interplay between the different elements, and good song-writing that knows exactly when to speed up, slow down or just stop. The dynamics are great, they know just how long to focus on any one thing before switching things up, always holding your attention.
"Electrical" and "The Hive" are favourites, especially Hive's stellar solo work mid-section, harking to Highway Star and other examples of Deep Purple at their finest. "Point of Return" sucks you in with a melodic opening, hits you with a superbly infectious rhythm, then throws in some bluesy heavy psych work because it can and it knows you love it. "Without Warning" and "Night Line" sound like something straight off of Riot's Fire Down Under.
The whole album is just absolutely stellar, harnessing a delightfully retro atmosphere without ever feeling like a cheap gimmick. It's a treat from start to finish, and anyone with a hint of appreciation of classic heavy rock owes it to themselves to give it a go and let it take you for a ride.