Finland’s black metal institution Horna returns with their long-awaited tenth album. ‘Kuoleman kirjo”'(The Spectrum of Death) marks the band’s best offering to date. For more than twenty-five years Horna has set their sonic landmarks and became the tip of the spear in the Finnish underground black metal scene. Together with bands like Behexen, Sargeist and Archgoat they have come to represent Finland’s most prime and original bands. Formed in 1993 by guitarist Shatraug who remains as the driving force of the band. Horna has been a fundamental source of inspiration to the modern black metal bands in the Nordic region since the early years. Having gone through many changes in style and lineup, in the early 2000s they passed through a process of refinement and maturity, which resulted in a substantial boost of creativity. This approach ensured the longevity of the band. The effective method of songwriting reflected upon catchy, driven riffs and melodies that outlined the modern hallmarks of Finnish black metal.
With outstanding albums such as ‘Kohti yhdeksän nousua‘, ‘Sudentaival‘, and ‘Sanojesi äärelle‘, the Finnish legends perfected their craft. Horna’s oeuvre is rife with aggression and satanic hymns. Their methods of combining tremolo-picked melodies and barbed wire riffs are conveyed with such professionalism and dexterity. And yet their tenth album is another successful output which shows the consistency and ingenuity of their music. The entire breadth of ‘Kuoleman kirjo‘ broods on diversity and an unmatched musical prowess which has come to full materialization. At the length of seventy minutes, Horna shows the enormous force of this raw and unadulterated form that was never uncovered before. Helmed by the guitarist duo Shatraug and Infection, Spellgoth on vocals, LRH on drums and VnoM on bass guitar, Horna delivers a quality record of cold and grim black metal. The opening track ‘Saatanan viha‘ centers on the sinister riffs that extend from the mid-tempo to blast beats. Through the piercing tremolos, the songs plunge deep into inky darkness and plod with effective hammering drums. Horna demonstrates superior methods of black metal. The quality of the riffs and the grim sinister vocals of Spellgoth are brought on by pure malice.
The formidable force of menacing evil on the following entry ‘Elegia‘ is unleashed with devastating torrents of blast beasts. From the thunderbolt of the immense barrage of riffs the ever-flowing fury expands rapidly into an aggressive and savage storm. The subtle undertones of the dark and grim melodies on ‘Uneton‘ courses through the rapid force of the riffs that burst out in wrath. Horna’s musical traits include catchy rhythm guitars, a titanic drum pace and grooves. These elements are combined to make each track stand on its own. Their vicious and raw standards are more prominent on tracks like ‘Sydänkuoro‘ where the songwriting is flawlessly measured by the organic performance of the band. There are plenty of variations in the flow of the songs with the atmospheric tremolo-picked riffs and the towering lead guitars being one of the highlights of the album.
The masterful songwriting skills capture the signature style of the band. While the songs are mainly dynamic, they are brought in such energetic and intensive magnitude. Other standout tracks like ‘Elävänä, kuolleena’ and the fast-paced blistering track ‘Kärsimysten katedraali‘ ignite in a furious tempo. The blasphemous rasps of the vocals spark the violent pace of the drums. On the second half of the album Horna weaves pure Finnish black metal majesty. The album presents a number of catchy songs like ‘Haudattujen tähtien yönä‘ which has the modern perspective trademark of the band. Taking a more direct and aggressive approach ‘Kuoleman kirjo‘ swirls with the cold icy tunes of the tremolo-picked riffs.
The drums sound firm, but there are moments when the blast beats cascade, fueled by a malevolent and obscure darkness. ‘Unohtumaton‘ and ‘Mustat vuodet‘ showcase a wide range of diversity from the mid-tempo to an uncompromising ferocity. The masterful composition of the rhythm guitars are combined with haunting melodies. In the essence of songwriting Horna’s melodies are structured on pitch-black tremolos that create a sublime dark atmosphere. The final tracks such as ‘Veriuhri‘ display the band’s songwriting maturity. The refined quality of achieving a raw and morbid atmosphere without losing the sense of musical coherence has always been the fundamental aspect of this legendary band. The final track ‘Ota minut vastaan‘ features some epic clean chants and demonic rasps whereas the song captures the raw and organic quality. ‘Kuoleman kirjo‘ is a luminous black pearl in the band’s lengthy catalog. A bewitching release from Finland’s most influential band. Highly recommended for fans of Sargeist, Satanic Warmaster and, Behexen.
Release Date: December 8th, 2020
Label: World Terror Committee
- Saatanan viha
- Elävänä, kuolleena
- Kärsimysten katedraali
- Haudattujen tähtien yönä
- Rakas kuu
- Mustat vuodet
- Pyhä kuolema
- Ota minut vastaan
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