If their last was an odyssey, this is a rock n roll masterclass

Of all the rock n roll bands that have looked to the past to find their own future, it’s fair to say that Hoirsont have probably been a cut above the rest – certainly in Europe.

Now 10 years into their career, perhaps such milestones bring their own pressure. A decade, after all, makes them classic rockers in their own right, never mind the bands they love.

If it was their sophomore record – “Second Assault” from 2012 – that firmly established them as favourites in the eyes of many, then it was the incredible “Odyssey” album from 2015, that marked them out as genuine front-runners in the pack.

That one saw them work with Tom Sutton (Order of Israfel etc) and write what amounted to a space rock record. “About Time” on the other hand, sees them occupy some kind of middle ground between the “….Assault” and “Oddysey” and melding works absolutely brilliantly.

Nowhere better, actually, than on the third track here. The quite wonderful “Without Warning” which begins with some prog synth -think Keith Emerson on the Moog all those years ago, and morphs into a song that Think Lizzy would have been proud of.

The ghost of Philip Parris Lynott and the greatest hard rock band of them all is all over “About Time”. “Night Line” basically amounts to a homage, “Boston Gold” has the same gleeful ebullience – but adds a keyboard riff to the gallop  – and “Hungry Love” kicks off with the most perfect twin guitar harmony this side of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson.

Impressively short – the majority of these songs pack their fun into less than four minutes – things kick off with “The Hive” which manages to sound grandiose in the time it would take Yes to do an overture, while “Electrical” is suitably charged with energy.

There is something truly special about this album. “Dark Sides” knows its way through rock n roll history but still manages to sound fresh. Its acoustic work gives a hint of The Hellacopters at their most mellow (with Axel sounding a little like Nicke Andersson here) but they can’t resist subverting the formula and overlaying the thing with a keyboard solo.

That track morphs into the closing title track, and this too is slightly different from the others, as it belongs in a slightly more psychedelic headspace – and it’s soaring yet lush guitar work is melodic and marvellous.

In amongst all this is a song in their native tongue. “Letare”, however, is merely copper bottomed proof that rock n roll is a universal language.

It is but one harmony filled highlight in a record that might just stand scrutiny as their best ever. Certainly it is one that offers more with each listen and is compelling, interesting and above all, fun.

Horisont often get wrongly labelled as “Retro Rock”. Nothing retro could ever sound this fresh. Perhaps this one will see them get the recognition – and commercial success – they so richly deserve. It is “About Time”, after all.

Rating 9.5/10


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