Horna
Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne

This is Horna, no compromise black metal from Finland, no trends past or present, the Motorhead of black metal. Ignore all trends and be true to your origins is Shatraug’s motto and, like Motorhead, their songs are not as simple as people think. They can masterfully craft simple song structures that are more complex than they sound on first listen. In ideology Horna is so raw they released an official live tape that sounds like a bootleg, it sounds like a live recording from the old days instead of sounding like the live show.

Horna has been very busy since their last full length album, releasing many songs on vinyl, the equivalent of perhaps three standard length cd releases, so if you are not part of the vinyl resurgence that Horna helped initiate you may not be all that familiar with their current sound. First they write quality songs with a tight structure and riffs that repeat in slightly altered form throughout the song, with leisurely drumming and a loud bass. Next, each song is highly individualized but is quickly identifiable as Horna and all songs on the album fit the same framework, all belong. Horna is not sloppy and the songs are not chaotic, though they do have a live feel, like they were performed live in the rehearsal room and recorded in one take, though not before extensive practicing, certainly no wall of noise, never have been.

The style here on Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne is not new for Horna. Check out, for example, the great 10 minute epic on Kohti Yhdeksän Nousua “Sormus ja Silma” or “Hiidentorni Huokui Usvansa” and “Hänen Synkkä Myrskynsä” on Hiidentorni or the ending of “Skaldiriimu” from Sudentaival extended not just to an entire song but to an entire album. They have pared it down to its essence but the similarities are unmistakable. While I am making all these comparisons I may as well point out that the cd has a bonus track, “Kuilunhenki” formerly known as “Ars Laternarum” from Viha Ja Viikate so get the limited double-vinyl version released through Blut&Eisen Productions since instead of the previously released cd bonus you get six new bonus songs for an album length of 84 minutes.

My favorite songs are “Musta Temppeli”, “Saastainen Kaste”, “Zythifer” and “Marraskuussa” Most bands can’t claim to continuously get better no matter how much they wish it, they get a definitive album then it is downhill from there. I thought Horna got their definitive album with Sudentaival but it seems I was wrong. I’m now a firm believer that their next one will become their definitive album. Meanwhile, this album gets the Iron Fist Award for excellence 2005.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
February 27th, 2005

Comments

  1. Commented by: oldestpunkinargentina

    Great review; thanx ! Are the drums faintly mixed-in or clearly audible ?


  2. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    This album is magnificent.

    The stuff of magick and absolute sincerity.


  3. Commented by: Tulse Luper

    God, how I miss Grimulfr. Someone bring him back, please…


  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Ive asked him to comeback several times, and he just does not have the time… :(


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