Horizon Ablaze
The Weight Of A Thousand Suns


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (263 Reviews)
February 19th, 2018 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The love child of Emperor and Gojira you need to know about.

While name dropping prominent bands helps identify an album’s sound as much as a book cover helps tell a novel’s story there comes a time where over-reaching comparisons can fit the bill perfectly, even if it sets the bar high. Fairly enough, the argument could be made that if the references didn’t make any sense they simply wouldn’t be mentioned. Hailing from the prestigious Norway, Horizon Ablaze play a culmination of black metal, progressive metal and subtle deathened avant-garde with an uncanny similarity to the genre defining bands mentioned above. Most importantly however is their ability to showcase The Weight Of A Thousand Suns as a unique play on Horizon Ablaze’s styles, rather than ripping a few influential sounds into something cliché and forgettable. Weirdly enough Horizon Ablaze has made one of “black” metal’s most accessible modern records, developed from well-thought song writing, sound technical ability and an album chock-full of technical greatness.

At times The Weight Of A Thousand Suns defies simple genre identification. Typically snarling, gnarled black metal screeches dominate the album’s forty-five minute run-time giving life to the tumultuous contrasts between “old-school” (Emperor meets Secrets Of The Moon) and “modern” heavy metal al a Gojira driven riff work that define The Weight Of A Thousand Suns a magnate hinting at future glory. For Horizon Ablaze, their 2018 record is but the band’s third offering, showing considerable growth between albums, aided by a clear, professional production.

Aesthetically, this album can be seen as a dream come true for modern day realists looking forward to the natural growth of metal. Sticking to the formulaic structuring and soundscapes set by the pioneers of music way back when is a testament to particular genre-roots and a death curse that will readily devour new, current and older acts. The Weight Of A Thousand Suns brings the ‘better’ parts of the older styles with the more modern and accessible roots shown by younger bands. While there are positives on both sides of the argument bands like Horizon Ablaze refuse to show stagnation – whatever the cost.

Highlights emerge throughout The Weight Of A Thousand Suns. Behind the snarled vocal efforts and sheer aggressive tones of album opener, ‘Sleep Is The Brother Of Death’ to the prog-laced, melodious reprieve of ‘Insidious’ Horizon Ablaze’s 2018 record stays remarkably heavy, even if two different sides of the coin are on display. It becomes difficult to articulate how a single track highlights this record as each of The Weight Of A Thousand Suns’ eight tracks are worthy of separate mention. Even the rare use of clean vocals on a typical black metal track (shown in the form of the album’s closer, ‘Insidious’) contrast completely with the shrieked passages further engaging the listener with each repeated spin of the record. Of particular note is The Weight Of A Thousand Suns’ middle section. ‘Ghost Of A Previous Nightmare’ brings some of the band’s most ferocious riff work to the fore-front, identifying the band’s instrumental ability. A-typical black metal soundscapes blend into prog-laced death metal culminating in some well-placed (and not overused) pinch harmonics that squeal through the speakers. The vocal intensity lifts, becoming less of a snarl and more of a demanding scream. It may have taken Horizon Ablaze three albums to define themselves as a band, but it will take one listen of The Weight Of A Thousand Suns to earn this Norwegian group a following to rival veteran acts with twice as many studio efforts.

Overall, The Weight Of A Thousand Suns is a grower that sets the bar high, relying on a cathartic, primal aggressiveness and excellent song-writing. At times the album is dark, sinister foreboding in atmosphere, while respectively the record becomes light, transparent revelling in its ability to blend styles together seamlessly. Despite just how much is going on here, The Weight Of A Thousand Suns remains constantly accessible, and constantly enjoyable, showcasing a best of all worlds formula that should appeal to many. If you like your metal to be forward thinking, absent of gimmicks and with a somewhat unique flair, Horizon Ablaze tick all the right boxes circa 2018. The Weight Of A Thousand Suns is an album you just can’t put down – not that you would want to.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.6
great
recommended by reviewer
Gojira The Way Of All Flesh


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is in the ball-park of 4.2



listen: http://www.invisibleoranges.com/horizon-ablaze/

Dewinged
February 19th 2018


13115 Comments


Here we are, this sounds pretty good Noct, gonna jam it when I am done with the Maiden binge.

And nice new avy dude.

Digging: Kaelan Mikla - Not Eftir Not

MarsKid
February 19th 2018


7821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I am cautiously interested. Spirit pos, by the way

Digging: Noise Trail Immersion - Symbology of Shelter

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks you two. I’m gonna have to make a 2/12 list list i think

Dedes
February 19th 2018


6023 Comments


Not too big on Gojira but man, that Emperor comparison has me interested for sure. Good review btw.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thankfully for you the bm runs dominate throughout.

InFlamesWeThrash666
February 23rd 2018


8565 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

will czech

Digging: Fall of Efrafa - Owsla

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That’s juicy

InFlamesWeThrash666
February 24th 2018


8565 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Boy this rules hard. Very unique sound

Hawks
February 24th 2018


64566 Comments


Def gonna jam this.

AdolfChrist
February 24th 2018


18479 Comments


Sounds interesting.

Digging: Domains - Sinister Ceremonies

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It’s pretty dece

Sunnyvale
February 25th 2018


895 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well this rules...

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Always : ]

MarsKid
February 26th 2018


7821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Would give a 3.7 if I could, this is just somewhere in the middle. Parts I liked, parts that just felt like they dragged.

Essence
February 26th 2018


6240 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is pretty good but nothing amazing

MarsKid
February 26th 2018


7821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah exactly. But they pull off certain sections noticeably better than others

necropig
February 26th 2018


5022 Comments


Shall check

Digging: Mopok - In the Dungeons of Mind

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2018


9130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still good to spin this

bloc
March 9th 2018


53505 Comments


Yeah these guys do sound a bit like Gojira. Enjoyable album, I like the vocals.

Digging: Sacrifice - Soldiers Of Misfortune



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