Horisont

support Dead Lord
author AP date 15/05/18 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

Although BETA is not operating at anywhere near its maximum capacity tonight, the Swedish retro-prog metallers of Horisont seem nonetheless to command a loyal following in Denmark. Their shows here tend to be well-attended, but while their popularity in Sweden and elsewhere has steadily been increasing, the band seems to have hit a plateau here for reasons unknown. Or perhaps it is simply the fact that by circumstance, Horisont’s concerts always seem to land on days that enjoy very warm temperatures with the result that people would rather spend their evening outside than inside a dark and (most likely) stifling intimate venue. Rockfreaks.net is not swayed, however — Horisont is not a band we can justify missing out on no matter how frequent their visits to Copenhagen may be.

Dead Lord

In this day and age when so many artists are concerned with one-upping each other in terms of how different and experimental they can be, it can be quite refreshing to witness such simple and honest rock’n’roll as that professed by Dead Lord. The Swedish band makes no apologies for distilling their sound directly from Thin Lizzy, with vocal harmonies, blazing twin-leads and poppy choruses galore across the nine tracks to which we are treated. Combined with exuberant showmanship — full blast ahead in the vein of Foo Fighters in their prime — this totally unpretentious approach to songwriting earns the adoration of the audience from the first song (“Don’t Give a Damn” off last year’s “In Ignorance We Trust” LP) and has me wondering how Dead Lord is not a bigger name by now. After all, this is not the first time that the quartet has showcased its abilities on Danish soil. This is some of the catchiest rock music on the market right now, as the likes of “Reruns” and “Too Late” so vividly prove, and while that by itself suffices to hold me captive, it is the relentlessly energetic manner with which those songs are performed that makes Dead Lord deserving of far bigger venues, and far bigger audiences than this. And as such, when the classic “Hammer to the Heart” (taken from the band’s 2013-début, “Goodbye Repentance”) closes the proceedings in a flurry of duelling guitars, I vow myself to ensure that Dead Lord’s name will be spread onto the radar screens of this country’s leading bookers.

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Horisont

As established by the ‘80s arcade music to which the quintet enters, and the giant bulb-lit ‘H’ stood behind the drumkit, Horisont has achieved the nigh-impossible feat of standing out in the densely populated genre that is the heritage rock revival. With the exception of The Sword perhaps, no other band has attempted fusions of classic progressive rock, NWOBHM and psychedelia with the same success as this Swedish troop on their five studio albums, the latest of which came out last year in the form of “About Time” and was met with the usual rave reviews that Horisont must be used to by now. There are not many of them here tonight, but fans of the five-piece are obviously in complete thrall of them, as evidenced by the bouts of crowd-surfing that erupt during the likes of “Bad News” and the classic “Nightrider”, not to mention the general enthusiasm of the audience in singing and banging their heads along to the Eagles-vibes of “Writing on the Walls” and the Europe-esque bombast of the new song, “Electrical” right after it. The band seems to be in high spirits, too, riding the euphoria of a successful tour winding to its conclusion tonight, ceasing every opportunity to swing and brandish their instruments like the rockstars their fans regard them as.

Indeed, having watched Horisont live on multiple occasions, this is unquestionably their tightest and most energetic concert in Denmark yet and it baffles me that more people have not caught onto the eclecticism of this band in the space of nearly a decade now. “Crusaders of Death” alone suffices to remind me why I hopped on the bandwagon upon the release of their sophomore album, “Second Assault”, in 2012, its mixing of so many different genres, from prog to psych to pop to hard rock, and getting away with it proving to be as intoxicating as it was when I first heard the track. Ignore my recommendation at your own peril — I, for one, will continue to enjoy this fine vintage of classic rock at every opportunity.

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Setlist:

  • 01. Odyssey
  • 02. Writing on the Wall
  • 03. Diamonds in Orbit
  • 04. Electrical
  • 05. Letare
  • 06. Crusaders of Death
  • 07. The Unseen
  • 08. Break the Limit
  • 09. Bad News
  • 10. About Time

— Encore —

  • 11. Nightrider

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