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Horn

One man projects are a dime a dozen in extreme music these days. This remains especially true when it comes to the realm of black metal. While most of these one man bands are not as competent as other full fledged acts, artists like Horn manage to pleasantly surprise. For the uninitiated, Horn is the solo black metal project of Nerrath (Cross Vault, Latitude Egress) where the focus is on creating folk tinged black metal that feels medieval and close to nature. The fact that this band has released 6 consistently good full length releases ought to give you a good idea about the quality of music here. The band’s 7th full length release ‘Turm am Hang’ is on the horizon. With the previous album dealing with the tales from the trenches of the world wars, this time around the focus is on varied topics like tribalism, lasquenets and the spirit masculinity among other things. Jointly released by Iron Bonehead Productions and Northern Silence Productions, this album is set to come out on the 27th of January.

Violins that seem to bleed melancholy gives the record a somber start before the pagan black metal riffs of Alles in enem Schnitt kicks in. Horn has already proven that they are quite adept at combining elements of pagan, folk, black and traditional heavy metal and here the formula doesn’t differ by much. That said, one can’t help but be mesmerized by the melodic guitar leads that give off a strong folk metal vibe. Though Horn has dabbled with clean vocals in the past, I don’t remember them being as strong and evocative as the vocals on the chorus of the opener (which reminds me of the harsh – clean juxtaposition by early Primordial). This followed by the stomping groove of the title track, give this record an excellent start.

HornHorn tend to hark back to the time where the music itself tended to be indicative of a band’s origins. Lyrics aside, the choice of melodies and samples tend to have a German twist to them, leaving no doubts as to where this band hails from. In spite of the album being dominated by a atmospheric leaning guitar tone and ample folk melodies, Horn manage to retain that gnarly black metal bite which is evident on tracks like Ä(h)renschnitter and Totenräumer. This in parallel with the more atmospheric tracks like Bastion, im Seegang tauber Fels make this a well rounded black metal record. As a cover of When Bitter Spring Sleeps’ The Sky Has Not Always been closes the record, the clean vocal aptitude of Horn is once again showcased.

When many bands go out of the way to come up with fresh sounds, Horn utilizes known tropes in a way that is exhilarating and fresh sounding. By this point, the band already has a solid discography to it’s name and the way ‘Turm am Hang’ manages to top its predecessors is very commendable. There is just not enough good things I can say about Horn and this should come as an absolute delight to those who like their black metal to sound medieval with a good balance of atmosphere and folk melodies.

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Author:

Shrivatsan R Dreamer with an appetite for extreme music who probably doesn’t like you already (unless you’re a dog). Obsessed with grindcore, death metal and all things experimental. Head honcho at Metal Gallows (http://www.metalgallows.com)