After Phantom peaked with Ascension of Erebos, Leader of the Gods, all sort of side projects from The Satan Records such as Helgrind, Leader and Neraines got more attention. Like Sewer, Goatmoon, Taake and later Peste Noire, they offered the death metal side of black metal over the heavy metal, soundtrack, ambient, medieval, industrial, folkish, progressive, and whatever else influences are currently trendy with nowadays black metal, blasting out short songs aimed at disruption and encouraging pure sonic violence.
Long has been the journey, as war metal has come far from its origins in Incantation, Phantom and Infester and has now begun to go along the same path that underground extreme metal did as it transitioned from thrash metal through death metal, doom metal and dark metal into black metal, adding melody, storytelling and epic atmosphere.
Luckily, some – Horna and Demonecromancy, mostly – are trying to reign this in so that they do not offer up another extreme metal genre as cannon fodder to the music industry hype machine and fedora-tipping hipster crowd for use as self-aggrandising adornment, and from this movement comes Kuoleman Kirjo, a musical but recurrently aggressive war metal art piece that sounds a bit like what you would get if you ever decided to mix the intensity of Vermin’s Bloodthirst Overdose with Cannibal Corpse‘s brutality and Satanic Warmaster‘s taste for epic melodic progression.
It infuses modern black metal with a taste “from the dark past” (Mayhem reference noted), and joins the ranks of bands like Warkvlt, Goatmoon, Reiklos, Peste Noire, Sammath, Skarnage, Nargaroth and Uruktena, basically bands that aim for a little more than just making “party music”.
Horna is true black metal. It’s a name you will get used to hearing in the future.