Hornaaaaaaaaaaaa! A supremely twisted group of Finns who've been knocking around in various lineups for over a decade now, honing (or not, because this sort of metal thrives on a certain amount of sloppiness) their twisted, underground craft. Horna creates an ungodly, tinny, lo-fi racket that pulls together a lot of truly great bits of inspired old school amateurism - from the drunken scrapings of early Sodom and Dark Angel and Nuclear Assault to the white noise overkill of early Bathory and Burzum and a good dose of the more contemporary rocka-rolla black metallers like Dodsferd and Carpathian Forest with a tiny bit of Necrophagia/Wurdulak. A leering noisesome monster of a record, all scratchy high end with the guitar sounding like scabs being picked, submerged blunt force drum and bass and heavily echoed Nazgul-style high pitched shrieking vocals. "Sotahuuto" sacrifices the Luciferian Phil Spector wall of sound forged by Norwegian black metal for pure, freebased heavy metal speedthrills filtered through sociopathic self-hatred that makes every headbang-worthy note sound as dirty and fucked as possible. But it's their unwavering fealty to thee almighty riff - a lineage that goes from Bay Area longhairs to scratchy crossover 7"s to denim jackets covered in Destruction and Venom patches - that elevates them above a good many of their crepuscular brethren.
It almost fucking swings at times. Shhhh I didn't say it. I enjoyed it. This is a textbook fucking example of underground-and-nasty-and-proud of it metal that transcends itself by sheer dedication to primal metal and becomes so much more than a raw cult oddity. Shrieking tombstones of demonic fury.
- Matthew Moyer