"...Secret Chiefs 3 have existed in various incarnations over the course of the past eight years, and have served as the funnel for Spruance's remarkably far-flung studies of the hermetic mysteries and musical traditions of unknown and underappreciated subgenres. Album titles like Grand Constitution and Bylaws and Book M hint at the music's vaguely metaphysical bent. Over three years in the making, Book of Horizons is Secret Chiefs' most expansive and coherent statement, an alchemical fusion of Morricone-esque cinematic grandeur, midnight surf guitar, traditional Middle Eastern rhythms and time signatures, demonic death metal, and electronic deviance that yields a work of undeniable force."
-Jonathan Zwickel, Pitchfork
"Cast the clear light of alchemical truth through the graphically enhanced occult fog, and you'll find an album fluffed full of magick, mystery, and densely orchestrated mosque-rocking beats."
Richard Gehr, Village Voice
"...an outside-the-box journey into sights and sounds from far and deep into the imagination, and a fascinating antidote to the often stultifying dearth of vision and ambition in so much rock music today."
Daniel Lukes, Lollipop
mxdwn.com Top 5 Albums 2004
4. Secret Chiefs 3 - Book of Horizons
Book of Horizons is an album so well thought out, it begs the question, "Can an artist go too far?" Mr. Bungle alumnus Trey Spruance has steered this project from what was once only a side project into the uncharted musical territory. Few musicians in the last thirty years have been this brave and bold in realizing a vision. Secret Chiefs 3s last album Book M was so good it stands as a true five star album. Spruance boiled metal, electronica, jazz, folk and middle eastern styles together in such a stunning way that it defied the conventional nomenclatures of world music, alternative or progressive rock. In a shocking twist, apparently determined to work even harder, he has fractured this genre-medley of a band into seven different "identities." Thats rightseven. Im not making this up. Each has their own name and visual branding. For example, Ishraqiyuns songs ("The 3" and "The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun)") are fast paced Middle Eastern romps using just a smidge of distorted guitars appearing only in the final bars. UR is a surf orchestra that dabbles in electronics. The Holy Vehm is ear-shredding death metal with shrill screams. In a span of only two songs Book of Horizons goes from a stunning cinematic symphony in "Book T: Exodus" to the never ending drumroll blast beat of "Hypostasis of the Archons." This disparity may sound jarring, but its not. The music is unmistakably all a part of the same audacious vision. A precisely orchestrated journey through counter culture musical styles. Each song blends without notice into the next. Even in spite of songs like band identity Traditionalists "The Indestructible Drop" and "The Exile" which are stark experiments in noise and sound design. Once the folk pianos of the identity FORMS album closer "Welcome to the Theatron Animatronique" conclude, the opus takes on a pivotal sense of completion. No closing credits though. It may sound intimidating on the surface butwowTrey Spruance is onto something."
Raymond Flotat, mxdwn.com