Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Horna - Pimeyden Henku (2007)

Pimeyden Henku was released in September 2007, on Debemur Morti Productions. This E.P. was the first Horna release since Sotahuuto, which was a tribute to Bathory. Therefore, this was more of a follow-up to 2006's Ääniä Yössä. As one might expect, this effort features four songs of very raw and aggressive Black Metal, sounding much rougher than any of their full-length albums.

The first song, "Nostalgiaa", rises from the darkness and rips you face right off with a vicious thrash riff, before a razor-sharp tremolo melody saws you in half. For a raw and primitive tune, this is rather dynamic. There is a mid-paced riff, albeit brief, that bridges the tremolo riff and the initial thrash theme. Things slow down, by the middle, and a chaotic atmosphere is created. The song seems to slowly wind down, before the first riff returns to take another chunk out of you.

"Avain Tuhossani" is more of a mid-paced track, being far more relaxed than the previous song. It gets better as it goes along, as a mournful melody is introduced. Sadly, it is all too brief. The strange production sort of limits its impact, as well. All in all, not a bad song, but not one of the band's better ones, either.

The next song is a mixed bag. "Kirotun Käden Kosketus" starts out with a rather generic riff, which is soon followed by a brilliant tremolo melody. Unfortunately, the first one is the more dominant of the two. Things slow down, near the middle, and the sound of Corvus's throat tearing and ripping apart is very clear, which suits the excessively raw production of this E.P. This track shows a bit of potential, but more focus needed to be placed on the good riff, while the other one could have been scrapped altogether.

"Verisellä Ovella" starts out with a very dreary riff, reminiscent of early Mütiilation. This feeling is carried on by the following riff, though a more decidedly Finnish-sounding melody takes over by the middle. After a fast-paced part, the music kind of falls apart and the gloomy atmosphere reasserts itself for the last minute or so.

Neither bad nor terribly necessary, Pimeyden Henku offers up a decent slab of raw Black Metal that possesses a few shining moments, along with some rather dull ones. Chances are, the material that was presented here could have been worked on a little more and been all the more effective in a more developed form. Either way, most Horna fans will probably like this.