You know a band is phenomenal when they can not only write songs in a style that was exhausted over thirty years ago, but they can also invent completely original riffs in said style, thus crafting a wonderfully enjoyable record. If you didn’t know “Två Sidor Av Horisonten” was a 2009 release, you’d swear it was a lost gem of the ‘70s.
HORISONT seem to pack an insane amount of charisma into this album, making it feel like they really did once stand shoulder-to-shoulder with BLUE CHEER or something. They blow other Retro-Rock bands like WOLFMOTHER out of the water with their simple earnestness. Even the production sounds like it’s straight from the ‘70s, although it’s wisely been cleaned up enough to prevent it from negatively affecting the quality of the music.
Guitarists Charlie and Kristofer are of the Blues-Rock school, and they seem to be full of neat riffs. You’d think that given the style of music, they’d run the risk of sounding “too familiar” at times, but surprisingly, their material is refreshingly original. Once you hear it, you think, “Jeez, why hasn’t that been done before?” Just listen to the absolutely infectious main riff of “Nightrider,” a riff I’ll probably never be able to get out of my head. “Horisont Boogie” starts off with a rhythm riff that you think sounds like DEEP PURPLE, but then they bring out a bunch of lead licks that are far Bluesier than anything Ritchie Blackmore laid down. They even flirt with Heavy Metal on “High Time” and Funk on “The Unseen.”
Singer Axel has a voice somewhere between Robert Plant, Geddy Lee, and, oddly enough, RIOT’s Tony Moore. His voice perfectly fits the style of music, and it’s hard to imagine HORISONT with a different singer. His voice just feels so authentic, and he hits the high notes with such ease, you can’t help but be impressed. The rhythm section is also solid, and “Just Ain’t Right” is probably the best use of cowbell in the last decade.
Make no mistake: this is the definitive album of 2009 for fans of ‘70s-era Blues-Rock. Every song is great, all the instruments are spot-on, the vocals are fantastic…it’s just utterly enjoyable in every way. Sometimes it’s melancholy, sometimes it’s energetic, but it always fits, and it’s never boring. Don’t let this one escape your radar!
(Online August 27, 2009)