The Pitch: Norwegian progressive black metal band Horizon Ablaze unveil The Weight Of A Thousand Suns, "the story of a journey through the human psyche and a deep dive into the man’s innermost fears and dreams." FFO: Aenaon, Piah Mater, Otargos
What I Like: Horizon Ablaze are less interested in being a black metal band than simply crafting extreme art by any means necessary. In addition to the usual tropes, The Weight Of A Thousand Suns incorporates elements of progressive and death metal in heavy doses across its runtime. These influences especially come through in the flashy drumming, intricate approach to songwriting, and also the vocals. While the default technique for the latter is an imposing blackened snarl, Horizon Ablaze add greatly to the album's dynamics via clean singing and also the occasional well-place death growl. As for the album as a whole, I love the atmosphere and structure. It's a winding labyrinth of unpredictable riffs and grim imagery filled with intrigue and infused with tragic moments sorrowful melody.
Critiques: There are a few down moments scattered throughout the album that feel like a drag on the pacing. Tracks like "Delusions of Grandeur," for example, do a better job with consistent engagement than others like "Ghost of a Previous Nightmare." These are still strong tracks overall; they're just not on the same level.
The Verdict: Horizon Ablaze expertly balance strong hooks and memorable moments with some unconventional song structuing and experimentation. This is how you toy with the avant-garde without alienianting your audience. Stream it early HERE.
Flight's Fav's: Sleep is the Brother of Death, Delusions of Grandeur, The End of a Dream
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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