Horn - Retrograd
Iron Bonehead Productions
Epic Black Metal
6 songs (26'04")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Alex

German Horn is an institution, which is in and of itself a testament to one man Nerrath talent and perseverance. For a dozen or so years now every couple of years, like clockwork, a Horn album comes out and you can count on it to be a strong entry in the pagan/epic black metal scene.

Retrograd is no exception, even though it is a mini-album, a 12” MLP to be exact. In some promotional pictures that came with Retrograd Nerrath is featured holding some strange string instrument, and with that instrument he is introducing melodies in mood setting Retrograd – Einleitung or rainy day Bocksfus – Einleitung. What follows, however, are in no way timid quiet instrumentals. The title track has an unmistakable epic feel, you can sense it with every fiber. Not pretending to be heroic, but actually relaying that sentiment almost literally, the composition builds to include some cleaner sounding moments through varying beats. Bocksfus is a little more reserved, slower, dreamy from the outset, but also totally voluminous and three-dimensional. It creates a bubble around a listener, also with some cleaner monk chanting portions. Nerrath is strong enough not to hide behind some distorted sound wall, and he would rather win you over with a penetrating melody or two.

Many a Viking band wished that they had the melody and atmosphere of Garant. The sense of pride is palpable, and once the closing double bass section rolls along you want to go to battle alongside Horn. All you want to know where the papers are on which to sign your recruitment commitment. The doomy De Einder takes vocals away from the raging warrior into a more beyond-the-grave direction, those clean monk chants sounding very appropriately. The use of cello or contrabass, a few other moments with the string instrument I cannot name, full-on quality production, Horn may be a one-man band, but it sounds like a full-blown collective, not to mention an army of fans such strong and steady carrier must garner. For the longtime fans of the band the only disappointment with Retrograd will be the fact that it is short.

Killing Songs :
Retrograd, Garant
Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Horn that we have reviewed:
Horn - Konflikt reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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