Originally written by Patrick Dawson
In a world often fraught with danger and mediocre music, there is something to be said for a release this profoundly average and enjoyable. Embodying the second wave of black metal in all its glory and standing as one of the only prominent bands from Suomi to adhere seamlessly to the genre’s core sound, Horna are nothing if not consistent. Kicking out the jams since 1994 and numbering six full length albums amongst a slew of splits and demos, Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne sees Shatraug and company deviating not one iota from the mixture of early Emperor five chord stomp riffs interspersed with the Finn’s own unique brand of drawn out melancholy.
I hadn’t paid much attention to this band since the days of Nazgul (Kyprian’s Circle, Satanic Warmaster) on vocals but this new Corvus chap seems to hold his own in impressive fashion. Aside from the fact that his wails and growls compliment the rest of the arrangements flawlessly he also vomits forth entirely in Finnish; possibly the most interesting sounding language on the planet. His enthusiastic performance sounds a bit like Nattefrost’s most recent work but rather than appearing at the forefront of the mix they are nestled a bit deeper down and as such come off as a part of the songs rather than as an obnoxious centerpiece.
Mass appeal is not something this band will ever be associated with and I am just fine with that fact, downright cheerful in fact. Their releases will always be a sordid affair of ugly black metal but this is the Horna album I have enjoyed most since their Viha Ja Viikate EP. You the listener can thank The End Records for yanking this little gem of rocking black metal goodness out from the dungeon of Finland’s Woodcut Records. For riff driven dead ahead no nonsense black metal, one can not go wrong with this album.
Rated: Finntastic by Patrick Dawson