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One of Horna's better EPs. - 90%

Sigillum_Dei_Ameth, October 28th, 2009

Horna are one of those black metal bands that seem to never run out of riffs whether they be new, old, re-hashed, or slightly tweaked. I don't know how they can keep at putting out material at an alarming rate for the most part. Even though most of their EPs don't make it past the 5 song mark, I'm pretty sure that if you tallied all of Horna's EPs together you would have at least 3 full-length LP's.

The "Viha Ja Viikate" EP shows really Horna starts to up the ante and making more blazing and down-right demented black metal than their material being a cross between their two know styles; mid-tempo/changing tempo foot-tappers and straight-forward faster black metal. I'm not saying anything bad about their slower mid-tempo stuff which is catchy, but it doesn't even come close to matching the powerful riffs that Horna main man and musician/guitarist Shatraug is able to perform. It's not technical or progressive, but fuck....they way he performs it is amazing for what it is. New singer Corvus really brings that element of total fucking darkness to the Horna camp which Nazgul(a.k.a. Satanic Tyrant Werewolf) was lacking and where he went for a more sickening approach. Corvus sounds like he is stranded out in the middle of a snowstorm in the mountians between Finnland and Russia where the coldness know no bounds, screaming out in madness through the thick blanket of darkness. Another new member is 2nd guitarist Infection which is great because he just adds to the catastrophic melodies of Shatraug. Not to mention he is also performing bass duties. Drummer Gorthaur goes off on a high note here seeing how this would be his last with the Horna horde and it sucks that he didn't stay because he has progressed a LOT since Horna's early days. Here he sounds like he knows what he is doing and is able to do it gracefully and then some.

For only 4 songs you get the idea that Horna are headed towards and even darkened future.

1. Viha ja viikate - Starts off with guitar feeback and then BOOM! Blast-beats and melodies are abound which gives away to a more riff-based gallop. Not to much as Maiden as it's definitely more Bathory. Between the verses which is blazing fast black metal are the mid-tempo breaks and even a Celtic Frost-style breakdown.

2. Ars Laternarum - FUCK ME! THIS is what black metal should sound like. This song just speeds right through and hits you like a ton of bricks. The best song on "Viha Ja Viikate". Shatraug's riffs, Corvus' vocals, and even Gorthaur hit it note-by-note and hit it perfectly. It's a 4 minute and 32 second song that is filled with nothing but epic riffs and insane blast beats/double bass assault, and vocals that will have you thinking is Corvus going to completely blow his voice box out. The double bass rolls and melodic guitar breaks from 1:32 to 2:57 and then total blast beat-o-rama is nothing short of genius. Get this EP for this song alone. One of my top 5 favorite Horna tracks. Pure fucking evil and total hatred!

3. Mustasiipinen - You think Horna would try to top the previous song, but no. They in turn pull out a song with some of the most twisted melodies I've heard a black metal band use. Tempo changes and everything. This song is very anxiety-ridden.

4. Kun 1000 Kuuta On Kiertänyt - This is a Carpathian Forest cover which is total Celtic Frost worship, as heard when Corvus does a Tom G. Warrior grunt. Also the production is totally different where you can really hear the bottom end of the bass drums and bass itself. Good cover considering I'm not much for Carpathian's rock n' roll take on black metal.

Horna is not really the band of variety but when they do show a variety of traditional black metal riffs, it keeps things from becoming boring as shit. 3 songs, 1 being completely amazing and the other two that's not even in the same style as their older material previous to the EP, and a cover of a band whom I don't care for, it's a great display of progress from a band who has always been pretty damn traditional when it comes to black metal.

The only downside I would say to this EP is the artwork. Hand-drawn cheesiness which in reality isn't one of Horna's forte's. But when you listen to the songs, you completely forget about it so minus 10 points there. I would also take points off for the Carpathian Forest cover, but seeing how it's a fuck load better than the original nothing is deducted. All and all, excellent material from an excellent band.