Thursday, July 30, 2015

Horna : "Hengen Tulet"

Not our first rodeo with this Finnish black metal band, who at times has lost me due to the overly raw production and simplistic punk rock style of songwriting. Let us see where they have gone since then. The first tone is better, the vocals are a little buried by it , but for this song it works.  The default to the punk side  of blasty mc nasty, shifting gears to  slow into a good metal groove that thrashes midway into the opener. I might not be blown away right out the gate , but sonically notice an improvement, despite press releases saying they are going back to a filthier place. "Nekromantia" stands out as it slows to more of a creepy throb, but the song before it just blended in with the first song and there was nothing to clearly distinguish them from one another. There is a pretty powerful chug to "Nekromantia" . The song that follows is more mid paced with shouted vocals on the chorus to further the punk rock feel. The bass rumbles out from behind the drums and you begin to get the feeling they put a lot more thought into this one. They revert back to more straight forward blasting on "Saatanalle". They do slow give things a darker pulse and a hellish pound before blasting back into a flurry snare smacking.

The organ interlude that opens "Puhdas" allows for some breathing room, before they throw themselves into another rabid blast beat. This time there is a heavier chug sitting out the snare. The bass rumbles up and generally has more of a presence on this album. This adds to some of the more beefed up heaviness this album carries. They follow this up with more dissonant creepiness , that might serve them better to hang onto more then so eagerly revert back to the blast.As it begins to get tedious once you head into the second half of the album. You can rely on them to slow down just a little over each songs midway point. To the extent it begins to feel a little formulaic. This doesn't hinder the passion they play these songs with. The charge into battle with a triumphant syncopation that falls just short of being a Bathory like viking gallop, though this is slathered in punk influence.the change of pace makes this one of the albums best songs.

"Hurmos" starts of with drums and an anguished cry that takes a more ominous tone. The bass player once again shines on this song. It's almost like mid-period Shining in the down trodden pulse it carries. It carries a big sound that might remind some of Watain. The album ends with the pumped up pound of " Profeettasi" that shows the band using enough restraint to not fall back into blast beats in the first minute, after that its full blast ahead. The next minute that follows is a blur. This album is a step in the right direction for the band, but leans to much on blast beats. I'll give it a 7.5, if you are a fan and you just want blast beats then round it up. It comes out September 22nd.

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