“The Weight of a Thousand Suns” is the brilliantly, I think, titled third album from Norwegian outfit ‘Horizon Ablaze’ (it’s also got the trappings of a good ‘yo mama’ joke in there somewhere – I’m just working on the wording). Started around a decade ago, each of their albums has dealt with slightly different themes, this particular one being centred around the human psyche and our ‘innermost fears and dreams’. Each song represents a different mental disorder, apparently. Special praise has to go to the cover artwork, which I really like. Done by a chap called Kjell Åge Meland should anyone want to check him out, and I recommend you do.
Stylistically they are definitely unique. I really don’t know quite how to compare, them, although they are clearly in the Scandi black/death camp. It’s tight, well produced and intelligent music, starting at fairly full pelt with ‘Sleep is the Brother of Death’. All the tracks have a bleak melancholy, as one would expect, particularly ‘The End of a Dream’, which is one of my preferred numbers.
Overall though, I would have to say the album doesn’t quite work for me. The motifs are cobbled together with little or no intuitive following on from one to another, to the point of incongruence. It almost sounds like a mix of different tunes that have been spliced together at points. There are also some fairly long, samey sections that I just wanted to go somewhere, but didn’t. I feel a bit bad saying this, as musically I can’t really fault any individual part of it, and am wanting to be as objective as possible, but for all its qualities, this album has more misses than hits.