“Hengen Tulet”

By Dr. Abner Mality

It’s a difficult thing to be completely orthodox and yet still interesting. Not too many bands can do it. Horna is one. These guys are kind of like the Motorhead of true black metal. Rough, dependable and always able to deliver a solid effort. If you like your BM minus needless experimentation, jazz influence and twenty minute songs,  you can rely on Horna.

The Finns have all the characteristics down pat. Corpse paint, spiked leather and black cloaks, single word names and lyrics in their brain-twisting native language. Speed is here with no apologies…blast beats and freezing guitar onslaughts. “Amdriada” whacks you like a medieval mace between the eyes and the closing track “Profeettasi” shows they have just as much hate at the end as at the beginning.  You have to have a lot of bile to be as pissed as Horna for the last 20 years. In between those two cuts, we get powerful orthodox black metal that somehow switches gears enough to avoid boredom and monotony. “Nekromania” and “Hurmos” show they can do the slower, more grinding kind of black metal just as well as the fast stuff.  I love the grainy, brutal analog production here….rough as hell, but with clarity and power.  “Puhdas” breaks bones with almost death metal ferocity following a long church organ intro. “Sodan Roihu” has some icecold melody that isn’t present in the other tracks. There’s also some long, varied but violent and evil epics.  Just about everything a corpse-painted ghoul could ask for is present on “Hengen Tulet”.

I think Horna could care less what else is going on in the musical world. They will stick to these black metal doomsday odes until the sun burns out or life leaves their limbs, whatever comes first. They just don’t give a fuck and that’s part of what makes this so potent.