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A vision of those raped by the filth of the light - 82%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, April 6th, 2008

Horna have been one of the few Finnish black metal bands that were either give or take with me. Most of their releases are straight-forward BM which is good, but considering how much of a prolific dischography they have, you would think they would be running out of ideas/steam etc. I remember picking-up "Hiidentorni" back in the day ('98...'99) along with a handful of other BM albums. That one struck me the most as the ugliest definately most rawest which was uneasy for my brain to comprehend even then. Fast-foward to 2006 where Horna is but a vauge memory in my damaged mind and all of a sudden Metal Maniacs and other publications are giving good reviews to them, along with advertisements by Moribund Records. I figure I would give them another shot seeing by now my cranium has been hardened through many nights drinking heavily.

A concept album about the black plague? Cool. Better than some other concept albums I have listened too. Horna does manage to really grab the sickness and absolute rotting feel of that time with an opening sample of rats scurrying about in the opening of "Raiskattu Saastaisessa Valossa" starts off with a really excellent melodic riffing and for the most part this song kicks major ass. I'm all for blastbeats and whatnot, but some mid-tempo riffing is also healthy for the possessed metalhead. Most of what is shown on "Anni Yossa" is constant alternation between mid-tempo riffing, to slow melodic doomy/depressing breaks. At times this may seem extremely monotonous, but for some reason works. "Noutajan Kutsu" continues the riff-worship momentum and foot-tapping(yes, Shatraug's riffs are fucking catchy). By the time you hit the mid-point of "Mustan Surman Rukous" your might catch yourself thinking..."Ok, are we we going to spice shit up here guys? Good so far but we are hitting the point where monotony becomes annoying. We are hitting Marduck territory here"...then the title track actually starts out completely different. First thing you notice is the sound production. Second thing is that there are blastbeats. Third thing is that this is Horna making ugly Finnish BM. Nothing catchy, nothing melodic....just ugliness. For and ending to an album of only 4 songs, it works.

The major downside to this album is that you really hoped for a little bit more, because Shatraug and Corvus managed to really pull together as a team and create some killer stuff. The downside to Horna is that they have released so much material over the years maybe only 1 or 2 releases (including this) really shine through. Those who want a good introduction to Horna should start with this release.