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Size Does Matter - 70%

WinterBliss, July 13th, 2008

For those of you who might be unaccustomed to either band here's a simple run down. Peste Noire plays raw, messy, black metal, but not without a strong sense of melody and impressive guitarwork. Paired with the top-notch musicianship are the excellent vocals which are high-pitched raspy screams. It’s the guitar work that keeps Peste Noire leagues ahead of most black metal bands. Unlike the singular nature of Peste Noire's riffs and melodies, Horna relies on dense repetitions of tremolo picked melodies behind a whirlwind of blast-beasts and distortion. To say the least, both bands can be melodic and catchy in their own right but still contain that raw production.


Horna begins this split with a song that I feel is very tough to fully enjoy. While the riffs seem to be excellent, the production really messes up the whole song. The drums and guitars come in with what sounds like a low volume-explosion-waiting to happen, but instead it stays at the low volume and the buildup is lost amidst the cymbals and guitars. My first time listening to this song I thought there were no vocals for the first minute and a half, until I realized it was buried somewhere behind the cymbals. This is the real flaw to this song, which I find odd because the guitar can be heard so well. It almost seems as though the guitars were recorded and put to some crappy drum tracks and vocals that were laying around in a studio. There's no saving these great riffs from the horrid static crash fest behind the kit though; a real bummer. 70 percent.


Peste Noire's side is simply the last track off Folkfuck Folie (which happens to be my favorite track on the album). It's more of what you expect with Peste Noire; an odd chaotic beginning that lasts for about a minute and then juxtaposes itself into a phenomenal high pitched squeal-fest. The guitar plays a great, catchy, melodic lead that winds and twirls its way throughout the rest of the song. Great song, but nothing new. 85 percent.


Overall this split seems hardly worth it. Two songs, one of which has already been released, and the other which suffers piss-poor production don't seem to be worth the eleven plus dollars for this split. Simply put: not enough material.