Horna - Official Website


Finland Country of Origin: Finland

1. Synkän Muiston Äärellä
2. Sudentaival
3. Black Metal Sodomy
4. Talventuoja
5. Haudanusva
6. Skaldiriimu
7. Kun Synkkä Ikuisuus Avautuu
8. Hautajaisyö
9. Noidanloitsu
10. Vihasta Ja Arvista

Review by Felix on November 25, 2023.

"Sudentaival", the third full-length by the long-lived authority known as Horna, dispenses with a preface. Drums, guitars and bass immediately burst out of the speakers with elemental force and it takes less than five seconds for the lead singer to scream his first hate-filled messages into the microphone. His ardent performance in combination with the infernal guitar leads, well executed tempo shifts, mega-heavy mid-tempo parts and a basic violence form an uncompromising opener. The only thing that surprises me is that no blood drips from the speakers. Guess they are broken.

Of course, there is not just one way how black metal can be performed. But the uttermost ferocious form to which Horna have dedicated themselves reflects a lot of the genre’s pure essence. And the more Horna walks the straightest path, the more their music starts to enlighten the cold Finnish nights. A fantastic killer like “Haudanusva” shows that merciless hammering of the drums and minimally melodic guitars can liaise in a very exciting way, but the sinister mid-paced segments of the track also work. The singer's vomit orgy at the end is equally stunning. But this is just a hint for those of you who cannot live without the delicate details.

The following “Skaldiriimu” is a little downer, because it illustrates that even the most unscrupulous bullies need a break from time to time. I don’t say that mega-atrocious is good and less furious is bad per se, but “Skaldiriimu” does not succeed in captivating me. All the more reason for me to welcome the fact that things are back to normal with “Kun synkkä ikuisuus avautuu“, even though it holds some pretty crude background vocals. But such details aside, it is ovious that the compositions of Horna convey the spirit of the genre in an authentic manner.

Okay, „Sudentaival“ is surely not the most atmospheric black metal album ever. Buit this is only logical, because its focus is definitely set on hateful aggression. Nevertheless, in rare moments melancholy and sadness flare up. The same goes for expressive riffs. Sometimes the generally apocalyptic approach almost suffocates the guitars, but the beginning of “Noidanloitsu” gives room to striking guitar lines. Of course, the density and violence of the quite raw production takes its toll and some nuances are falling by the wayside. Either way, after all there can be no doubt that “Sudentaival” is not perfect, but very good. Check out the title track, which is divided in two parts, a fatalistic slow-paced beginning with broad, flattening guitars and a typical murderous massacre after a short break. If you like this track, you will certainly enjoy the entire album as well. No doubt, Horna are one of the most famous of the five million Finnish black metal bands for a reason.

Rating: 8.2 out of 10