Kristiansand-based Horizon Ablaze was formed in 2008 to cause mayhem via death metal. The band issued a demo, called Deconstructive Portrait, in 2009. The song Mephistophelian featured Mr. Hustler of Blood Red Throne. The group signed with Mayhem Music in the summer of 2010 and issued its debut album in January of 2011. It was a concept album regarding the awakening of a soldier in 1941 during World War II.
HORIZON ABLAZE - SPAWN - MAYHEM
As much as Horizon Ablaze’s brand of mayhemic death metal slams the point home with a blatant resolve, the group’s songs keep the band back. The band should be commended for hailing from Norway yet keeping its distance from the multitudes of wimpy keyboard-crusted bands that roam that land - a scary moment on Throne Of Trepidation aside. Moreover, this is not alternative or modern; this is real. Said track and several others do put together a semblance of quality to complement the crushing brutality, but this band is better when it speeds up and frees itself from an over-reliance on the staccato pounding chug Spawn repeatedly falls back on. Take a track like Strychnine, which in its second half completely loses the thread becoming a meaningless heap of sound. Song after song becomes a blur partly due to the gratingly cacophonous blur of the bottom end. It is just that bad on occasion.
On the vocal front, the main course is deep dry grunting, but the second voice does switch things around with a higher pitch. Also noteworthy is how amidst the World War II theme the disc is peppered with odd samples, which, surely have a purpose within the concept, seem like an aural quiz. One is clearly a typewriter. - Ali “The Metallian”