Horna Pimeyden Hehku

The phrase "don't expect much” connotes disappointment, but with black metal it can only mean your money’s worth. Finland’s Horna don’t fuss, they just lay it down. Fearing complications, the only part of the mixer they touched is the "on” button, effectively nailing the genre’s true charm. The vocals are distorted and unknowable; the guitars groan about having to stay in tune; and cymbals obscure the entire kit. These are not complaints. Frankly, listeners should be surprised to find something so forbidden for sale. Nothing here was so much produced as cut out, and somehow that’s refreshing when everybody’s got their own keyboard these days. There are better black metal records, true, and better black metal bands. But Horna have been at it for 15 years with still no story to tell. And guess what? That’s the spirit. (Moribund)