Horna - Official Website

Hengen Tulet

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

2. Ajan Päättyessä
3. Nekromantia
4. Tämä Maailma Odottaa
5. Saatanalle
6. Puhdas
7. Ikuisuuden Kynnyksellä
8. Sodan Roihu
9. Hurmos
10. Profeettasi

Review by Felix on November 20, 2023.

Finland houses some seemingly indestructible hordes that have totally inhaled the spirit of black metal. Azaghal is among these formations, Behexen prove their loyalty to the genre with every new release and Horna's debut was published in 1998, almost 20 years ago. In 2014, the persistent band released its last album up to now. "Hengen Tulet" means "Spirit Fires" and without knowing the exact intention of the artists when choosing this title, I can confirm that the album reflects the fiery spirit of the musicians. The ugly, pitch black sound of the album mirrors the brutal and misanthropic approach of the dudes. Better still, some pieces of "Hengen Tulet" show the compositional excellence of the band anew.

Horna do not kneel down to the unlimited dogma of high speed. They vary the tempo in a convincing manner. Nevertheless, high speed tracks such as "Tämä maailma odottaa" (I really like the Finish language, but I fear the only purpose of its invention was to leave me completely disturbed) send pleasant shivers down my spine. Effervescent drum rolls meet merciless guitars, the chorus works and each and every note increases the joy of listening. Better still, songs like the subsequent "Saatanalle" are cut from the same cloth. Horna celebrate these typical, life-denying riffs that express the mentality of the sub genre in a very good way. The dark production sets the guitars in the right light. The hoarse vocals come into their own as well, while the snare drum sounds slightly hollow. Anyway, the mix matches the expectations.

More problematic is the fact that the band runs out of ideas as the full-length continues. Some songs of the album's second half fall by the wayside in comparison with the other tracks, because they somewhat lack of determination and brutality. Slightly uninspired mid-tempo parts, for example in "Sodan Roihu", characterize large sections of these tunes. It is therefore good to know that the closer is able to build a bridge to the first tracks in view of vehemence, darkness and musicality. The Finnish bitterness returns and leaves no room for lukewarm sounds. Thus, the final song closes the cycle and the small number of rather average tracks is quickly forgotten.

After all, there can be no doubt that Horna deliver value for money. Already the great opener with its well integrated tempo variations is a black milestone that wallows in profound negativity without neglecting the appropriate degree of melodies. Unstoppable when preferring high speed, merciless when using rather slow rhythms - that is the way how "Hengen Tulet", which clocks in at 48 minutes, challenges your stereo system, at least during the first 30 minutes of its playtime. The band has still an enormous amount of creativity and everybody who is interested in honest black metal should give this work a chance. Indeed, it is not absolutely flawless but authentic as well as fascinating and a good soundtrack for your next barbecue on a clearing somewhere in the Serbian woods.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10