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The plague lives on - 95%

Eternal_Winter_, December 5th, 2008

What could be more metal then a concept album about the black plague? Nothing.
Horna, the most grueling Finnish black metal band this side of Beherit, seems to have caught onto this in their album Ääniä Yössä.

The album opens with the incredibly unpronounceable Raiskattu Saastaisessa Valossa with a crushing riff- foreshadowing the songs to follow. It sounds somehow drowned and sets an eerie mood of sorrow. It is raw, redundant, black metal at its purist. Corvus’ voice is raw, it’s horrendous, and it’s sinister. The guitars and bass are static and redundant, yet maintain a level of interest and innovation in a sense. I never thought I could be so amazed by the same 3 or 4 riffs played over and over again. The drums are slower then you’ll find on many albums, but fit the music very well, thus it isn’t an issue. Raiskattu Saastaisessa Valossa very well establishes the mood for the album to come.

The second track, Noutajan Kutsu seems more uplifting then the first track, and has more of a dynamic feel, the track doesn’t sound at all like the first, making the album dynamic, which is always a good thing. Noutajan Kutsu flows right into Mustan Surman Rukous, and reestablishes the depressing, sorrowful atmosphere from the tiny “high” found in Noutajan Kutsu. Overall, its probably the weakest song on the album, but still a good song nonetheless.

Finally comes the 21 minute 19 second beast of a song that is Ääniä Yössä, the title track of the album. It instantly initiates the redundant, everlasting, as well as faster guitar and drum riffs that will occur for the rest of the song. Corvus’s voice dominats the music in some of my favorite vocals I’ve ever heard. The tone culminates in this song in an unrelenting torrent of drum beats. It drags on, in a good way. This song, as Shatraug has put it as “much like the last moments of a person dying of the plague: fevered, sick, hurting. Surely hallucinating,” a description I could not possibly best. It is raw, it is ongoing, it is redundant and best of all; it is fucking awesome.

Horna has done something on Ääniä Yössä that very few bands are able to do- create atmosphere. What they, and even fewer groups have done, is create atmosphere without the aid of keyboards or effects- it is raw, unadulterated black metal about the plague, it is done in a perfect way. Buy this fucking album.