Review by David Morrison: 
In some ways "Fire on the Horizon" picks up where "Travelers" left off, but there is definitely a more sombre tone and edginess to some of the material. In the three years since the latter’s release the world has, for many reasons, undeniably become a darker place, so in reflection of that Kilbank and Bezooyen have continued to focus on mutual issues of the day, grasping for answers along the way. Indeed, in using the fire of the title as a metaphor for any challenging event, whether personal or shared, in their own words this fine and thoughtful sophomore release concerns itself with “staying on course when there always seems to be a fire on the horizon.”
The title track opens proceedings, setting the tone in a stark manner as a police siren wails over gentle acoustic guitar. Kilbank and Bezooyen explain that the song “explores the culture of fear that seems to be permeating our times…examining the feelings of helplessness about tragic world events.” But, in the lyric " It’s always been this way / Millstone turning endlessly," they are resigned to accepting that while we humans can continue to seek solutions to our problems, the nature of our beast dictates that we will likely never learn from our mistakes.
Matter Over Mind laments society’s obsession with style over substance, and the gradual technology-led breakdown of real, meaningful communication and connection as we withdraw further and further into the digital domain of our addictive devices. A subject depressingly ‘dear’ to my own heart, I first heard this song the day after laughing at an all-too-true take on Rudolf F. Zallinger’s classic March of Progress evolution illustration, only this time the 21st century Homo Sapiens was tumbling over a cliff as he gawped moronically at his smartphone screen.
An album highlight is the powerful, dramatic Stop the Pain, boasting an impassioned vocal performance from Kilbank, who, unlike the shared lead vocal duties of Travelers, is at the mic for all of Fire on the Horizon’s vocal tracks (bar Just Let Go, on which the duo harmonize). It is unclear whether Kilbank is referring to physical pain or mental anguish, and from a personal perspective or on behalf of us all, but the overall effect is highly emotive.
The questioning continues in the Randy Newman-esque Do You Wonder Why. Opening with the line, I see the world get worse each week / You can’t deny it looks quite bleak, it implores us to try not to worry about unfolding history we can have no influence on or control over, after which some light relief comes in the form of Outbound, a faux-reggae number glowing with Vancouver Island pride. It asks why we should go to all the bother of vacationing abroad, with the attendant hassles of international travel these days, when we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I relate to this directly, exploring my hometown on an ongoing basis to learn its history and unearth its wonders, quirks and secrets.
Elsewhere there are two sublime Bezooyen instrumentals, Fading Light and Consequential, of a quality that would not be out of place on a vintage Windham Hill release.
In That’s My Story, concerning “making peace with the choices made in life,” Kilbank delightfully manages to rhyme purgatory, allegory and vainglory. Good work, sir.
You Say is an interesting song, seemingly an examination of shallowness and the very human trait of saying one thing but inwardly believing quite the opposite. It challenges the notion, for example, that someone would do anything – as in anything - for love, and boasts such neat lyrical imagery as, Our words have become the clothes we wear / Chosen to suit each event…dressed for the roles we invent. I really like these ideas, approaching concerns about human behavior from unusual angles.
Despite the underlying, inquiring seriousness of much of Fire on the Horizon, these compassionate musicians nonetheless retain a positive attitude to life, as amply illustrated in Travelers’ closer, Joy. Although not wrapping up this new album, as perhaps it should, a similar sentiment is expressed in Bezooyen’s Just Let Go, bearing the sole repeated lyric, If you want to be free, just let it go. Featuring soaring backing vocals from The Hermit’s Music stablemates Cali Massey and Mary Faherty, it’s a consolatory mantra that, intended or not, again encourages us to throw off the shackles of helplessness brought on by awful events we can only observe in despair, and over which we can have no sway.
I like the path Kilbank and Bezooyen are on. This album, they say, is intended to “provoke debate, reflection and change,” and by asking direct questions and articulately voicing concerns in a conversational manner they do so but avoid sounding clichéd or hackneyed. And by skilfully balancing gravitas and lightheartedness the duo delivers a satisfying listen, one that sparks topics to mull over while humming along to some very pretty folk melodies.
 David Morrison is a music industry veteran boasting wide-ranging experience spanning five decades. Music is more a lifestyle than career for Dave, who is in some way engaged with music and its industry every single day of his life. He promoted over 300 shows in the UK, hosted radio shows both there and in Canada, and has worked in music retail since he was a teenager. For almost twenty years Dave has written about music for magazines the world over, and as such has been viewed as something of a tastemaker and passionate authority on the huge spectrum of music he loves. As a former A&R man, band manager and consultant he has worked very closely with, for and alongside musicians around the globe.
released February 5, 2016
Dave Kilbank: Music and Lyrics for tracks 2,4,7,9,12 & 13
Lead vocals, 12 string acoustic guitar, synth and percussion tracks, Recording, Mixing and Mastering
Paul Bezooyen: Music and Lyrics for tracks 1,3,10 & 11 and composed instrumental tracks 6 and 8.
Harmony vocals, 6 string acoustic guitars - Rhythm and Lead, Bass Guitar
Track 5: Music and Lyrics co-written by Dave Kilbank and Paul Bezooyen
Cali Massey and Mary Faherty: Background Vocals on tracks 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13