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Horizon Ablaze – The Weight of a Thousand Suns Award winner

Horizon Ablaze
The Weight of a Thousand Suns
by Erika Kuenstler at 04 April 2018, 9:43 AM

HORIZON ABLAZE is a Norwegian Avant-Garde Extreme Metal band, formed in 2008. Having been around for a decade, this year sees them release their third full-length album, entitled “The Weight of a Thousand Suns”, and described to be an exploration of a man’s innermost dreams and fears, with each song relating to a mental disorder.

Drawing heavily on the dreams and visions of vocalist Andrè Kvebek, formerly of 1349 and PANTHEON I, “The Weight of a Thousand Suns” melds together a slew of different elements, such as smidgeons of Black Metal combined with healthy portions of Death Metal, and perhaps even with a bit of Sludge thrown in for good measure. A ponderous Death Metal intro leads us into opener “Sleep Is the Brother of Death”, redolent with hairpin shifts in tempo and melody which keep the song captivating and unpredictable throughout. Fragmented and disjointed seem to be the golden standards here, and ones that are adhered to throughout the album. Chugging guitars lead us into the tormented barrage that is “Delusions of Grandeur”, a song seething in venom, tempered by moments of shining melodies and sections of soaring clean vocals. In stark contrast, a simple picked guitar melody ushers in “Ghost of a Previous Nightmare”, lulling us into a false tranquillity before the chunky guitars kick in, taking the melody swirling through desolate heights before plummeting into pits of infernal indifference. This again is a disparity to the distorted and ephemeral intro to “She Who Walks upon the Sea”, which soon blossoms into an unhinged song which waxes and wanes, swaying between bedlam and tranquillity. The pace gets taken down a notch in the ebb and flow of “The End of a Dream”, a song rife with melody and clean vocals. In contrast to this, “Behind the Veil” is far more technical and aggressive, letting strong Death Metal influences shine through. The penultimate spot is taken up by “My Soul Divided”, a far more frenzied, frantic, and frenetic song, with Death Metal growls overlying a quicksilver melody that is deranged and unbalanced one moment, and composed and poised the next. This leads us to the closer of “The Weight of a Thousand Suns”, namely “Insidious”, also released as an official video. The lulling feel of the song provides a numbing and sedating end to the album, leaving us with a polar feeling to that found in the opening track.

The production quality is clear, without sacrificing any of the voracity of the album. Although likely too disjointed and multi-faceted to be everyone’s cup of tea, “The Weight of a Thousand Suns” is nonetheless and interesting listen. Here I should perhaps add that it may take a few listens to fully unfold and grow on you – it certainly did when I listened to it. If you can get used to the fragmented and unexpectedness of the album, it proves itself to be an interesting and diverse album, and a welcome break from the run-of-the-mill Death Metal that gets churned out each year.

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Sleep Is the Brother of Death
2. Delusions of Grandeur
3. Ghost of a Previous Nightmare
4. She Who Walks upon the Sea
5. The End of a Dream
6. Behind the Veil
7. My Soul Divided
8. Insidious
Aleksander Hodne - Bass
Kevin Kvåle - Drums
Maurice Adams - Vocals (clean)
Stian Ruethemann - Vocals, Guitars
Andrè Kvebek - Vocals
Record Label: Leviathan Records


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