Horna - Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne
Woodcut Records
Black Metal
8 songs (48'56")
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Alex

Kult of Horna member I am not, you have to give credit where one is due. This Finnish band has been operating in Black Metal underground for more than 10 years. It has been as prolific as it has been non-compromising, the mainman Shatraug continuing to perpetuate his Satanic-nationalistic-mystical visions (whether you agree with them or not). Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne is probably the first Horna album to see the broader light of day (or night) due to The End Records distributing this Woodcut Records release.

Not speaking Finnish I can’t say whether there is a meaning to the title being able to read forward and backward. According to the recent interview with Shatraug the songs on Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne were his previously unrealized thoughts and ideas accumulated over the years. What’s the better way to leave no stone unturned then but to press it all on the music media? This approach, or possibly the fact that the regular drummer Gorthaur is (temporarily?) replaced by Lord Sarcofagian (from recently reviewed in these pages Calvarium), leads to strangely accessible and disjointed collection of songs.

Half of the songs on Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne is of highly melodic variety. Not excluding the air raid siren fuzzed out guitar Vihan Tie, Vala Pedolle and Kuoleva Lupaus present superbly melodic riffs. I have been putting the opener Vihan Tie on repeat in my car player on the way to work recently as the melody in that song is simply infectious. Vala Pedolle is a grim tempest of the melodic fury with its crashing cymbals, and grief pours out of tremolo progressions of Kuoleva Lupaus. I’d say that melodies of Horna are quite a bit more pride & pain than hate & violence. Both Shatraug’s guitar and Corvus’ vocals fit the bill in that sense – both sounding like yelps of a cornered, tortured but not broken animal. Instrumental Zythifer features detuned guitar and sounds of a Pagan procession walking by a dark body of water coming ashore.

If you wanted raw and ugly, however, you get your fair share as well. Musta Temppeli, Saastainen Kaste and CD bonus Kuilunhenki are unadulterated Bathory-inspired black’n’thrash affairs. The whole album, and these latter songs especially, gives an impression as it was recorded live and in one take, the band not giving any second thoughts of “polishing” this material over.

Adding to the straightforwardness and simplicity factor is the rhythm section, specifically the drums. It is OK not to be overly technical and not to distract by fills and rolls. Horna takes it to the extreme, however, some songs not changing the drum beat pattern for the whole duration. Just about every track goes through the end culmination, but drums are left totally aside, almost used as an overlooked metronome clicker. This is, perhaps, by design.

I know full well that for the genuine followers whatever I said means little, as they would get the release anyway. As well they should, but the run of the mill reviewer is entitled to an opinion. You could guess which portion of the album I liked more just by checking out “killing songs” below. If you are a fan and if there is a chance you can get an LP you will be presented with another six tracks, almost a whole new album in and of itself.

Killing Songs :
Vihan Tie, Vala Pedolle, Kuoleva Lupaus
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Horna that we have reviewed:
Horna - Askel Lahempana Saatanaa reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Horna - Sanojesi Aarelle reviewed by James and quoted 43 / 100
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