HORIZON ABLAZE – Philosophy with blast beats
- by Espen Haukelid
- Posted on 15-04-2011
The guys from Horizon Ablaze took some time off from their grandeur plans, involving a Death Star and world domination, to answer some questions about their genesis, debut album and songwriting. This young group is worth keeping an eye on, as they seem ready to hit the world hard with their refreshing and aggressive death metal!
How and when did you start playing together?
Both of the founders of the band really wanted to make some noisy death metal music and was brought together during our time at High School. We talked about making a band for a couple of months before Kevin just picked a date for rehearsal early January 2009. This the origin of Horizon Ablaze. We did not incorporate the final two members before we got a record deal. Ole Bent Madsen joined up in March 2010 and Joakim Kvåle joined in July
the very same year.
Your name is quite a visual one. How did you end up with it, and is there any meaning to it?
Well, Stian came up came up with it one day and it sounded nice and evil. The cool thing about the name is that there is so much to it. Especially if you look at the fact that you may never actually be where the horizon is.
Biggest influences on your music?
The band would never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for Hate Eternal, so therein lies a great inspiration. The Black Dahlia Murder & Gojira are also bands we aspire to be like in many ways.
"Spawn" was just released, how did the writing, recording and mixing go?
The writing process was both challenging and inspiring due to many factors like the concept of our album. From the beginning we were set on how the album should play out and we got the end result we wanted because of our producer Audun Grønnestad who shared our vision of making an organic album. So fourth the recording sessions were influenced by that and we
also tried to refrain from too much editing, no quantification, no triggers and generally a performance based album. Audun Grønnestad also did the mixing of the album.
As far as I’ve heard, "Spawn" is a concept album. Could you tell us about the story/theme behind the album?
In 1941 an event occurred which would hold significance for all. A soldier was cast into a war in which he belonged too much, and soon a darkness grew within him as a cancer. Through this soldier "Spawn" would be reborn, to reclaim his powers, end the vicious writing of the storywriter, and to find meaning in being letters on a piece of paper. Can the murderous "Spawn" awaken the puppets The Writer have created, or will the inevitable predetermination eventually come him as well. As with The Writer writing the story of "Spawn" and The Soldier, the real existential struggle surfaces; are we predetermined? It’s philosophy with blast beats.
The cover of "Spawn" is a very interesting work of art. Could you tell us a bit about it?
Well, we contacted Kjell-Åge Meland, who previously did artwork for a band called Pantheon I, and we really wanted that artistic feel to our cover. Its really a whole lot of work behind the artwork instead of just a guy taking five minutes to get a computer generated picture of either the Grim reaper or a woman holding a fading rose. The way he worked it out was he got lyrics from Stian and painted from there. We got several suggestions and decided upon the painting we wanted. In the artwork you may see several of the important characters in our story if you look closely and pay attention to the lyrics.
How do you feel you evolved from your "Deconstructive Portrait" EP toyour full-lenght?
As far as musicianship goes we were a lot more developed. The main difference in our opinion is the approach we now have on songwriting. We feel like we are able to structure the songs in a way we find intriguing. On top of that we are more aware of the fact that playing death metal does not necessarily mean; make the most sound possible at the same time. We find that when you define the parameters of each individual you get songs that are more interesting for the listener.
What does the future hold for Horizon Ablaze?
We are building our own Death Star, hell bent on world domination…
After said accomplishment we’ll probably play some shows and get a new album grooving.
You¹re stranded on an island, and you¹re only allowed to bring one album each. What do you bring?
Stian Ruethemann: Pink Floyd – "The Dark Side of the Moon"
Kevin "Kevva" Kvåle: Hate Eternal – "I, Monarch"
Ole Bent Madsen: Cryptopsy – "The Unspoken King"
Joakim Kvåle: Pat Metheney – "The Way Up"