For their fifth album About Time, Swedish retro rockers Horisont have veered slightly away from the space rock sounds of their last album Odyssey, once again bringing back those vintage hard rock sounds of the '70s that we heard so much of on their first three releases but throwing a large dollop of prog on top. With influences ranging from Thin Lizzy, Grand Funk Railroad, early Scorpions, Rush, Eloy, and perhaps a bit of Status Quo boogie, About Time is another look back at the vintage sounds of yesteryear but with a fresh, modern take by a band who continue to crank out one inventive album after another.
"The Hive" kicks things off in fine fashion, a driving hard rock/prog piece led by Axel's high pitched, near Geddy Lee styled wailing and layers of swirling twin lead guitars. The catchy "Electrical" follows, a crisp, late '60s styled psych rocker with hooks galore and plenty of tasty guitar licks, the dueling solos reminiscent of vintage UFO, Scorpions, and Deep Purple. Just a fantastic song that will be impossible to get out of your head. "Without Warning" also contains some splendid hooks that are a cross between '80s Rush as well as Foreigner, the synths laying in the background while the weaving guitars of Charles & David hint at the glory days of Thin Lizzy's Brian Robertson & Scott Gorham. The band normally add a song sung in their native tongue, and we get that here in the form of "Letare", which mixes folk, prog, and bluesy hard rock, the synths stabbing in and out of the mix over acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and heavy riffs. The boogie comes on strong for the upbeat "Night Line", as Status Quo meets Foghat with a bit of Thin Lizzy thrown in for good measure, while "Point of Return" lays the prog flavors on thick with soaring vocals, textured guitars, and keys, bringing to mind '70s era Rush & Kansas. Early Foreigner again comes to mind on "Boston Gold", as well as Nazareth, complete with chugging riffs and memorable synth lines, and those irresistible twin guitar harmonies again rear their head on the atmospheric, bluesy number "Hungry Love". The boogie returns, mixed with some early Scorpions majesty and Eloy styled space rock on the fun "Dark Sides", as beefy rhythm guitars combat wild synths and blazing twin harmonies, eventually giving way to the dreamy "About Time", a floating Pink Floyd-meets-Eloy-meets-The Doors styled track saturated with electric piano and bluesy guitar lines.
While some might say that Horisont haven't given us anything new here and continue to toil in '70s sounds, the truth is that's what they do, and About Time contains a wealth of flavors from that era, keeping things interesting from track to track, leaving the listener in high anticipation of what will come next. Where else are you going to hear classic hard rock, prog, boogie, metal, and space rock all in one album? Doubtful many places, so dig in deep to this absolute winner and experience all this great Swedish band have to offer.
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1. The Hive
3. Without Warning
5. Night Line
6. Point of Return
7. Boston Gold
8. Hungry Love
9. Dark Sides
10. About Time