Horna – Kuolleiden Kuu (2018) REVIEW

If you want to know what Horna is today after the departure of their previous drummer, you haven’t quite landed in the right place because ‘Kuolleiden Kuu’ is an EP of tracks from the 2015 sessions that lead to the ‘Hengen Tulet’ album. For that album Horna’s naturally raw form of Finnish black metal received a cleaner production with a bit of atmospheric black metal sounding murk hanging over the top of it at times. That sound is still here on these somewhat more experimental and foreboding songs. A looming threat of violence hangs over the head as you listen, sort of like when ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ starts.

From the start of “Uskonpauhu” I get hints of the outer-spaced dementia of early Oranssi Pazuzu creeping into the riffs, without losing the occult feeling of Horna. This quickly leads into what I’d consider a short and instrumental melodic black metal song with the title track that introduces a cover of 70’s/early 80’s Finnish pop/rock artist Rauli Badding Somerjoki. The original’s lyrics when interpreted darkly set nicely beneath Horna’s semi-melodic black metal. It is definitely the highlight of the EP alongside the first track.

These songs for a dead moon sort of made me appreciate ‘Hengen Tulet’ a bit more and probably serve as a primer for Horna’s split release with Pure coming out the same day. While I appreciate the cleaner sound of that new split along with a more melodic sound, this EP is probably my favorite thing from Horna in a long while and outshines the new material for me. I probably won’t review that split simply because I don’t like Pure very much and it’d be a fairly low score, but I think this EP is easily some of the best black metal I’ve heard in January so far.


Artist Horna
Type EP
Released January 4, 2018 [Recorded 2015]
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Futility in the realm of dreams. 4.25/5.0

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