Formed in 1993, this highly melodic black metal group stays true by singing in their native language and sticking to themes like paganism, the occult and satanic philosophy. Their music has evolved over the years. I particularly like this quote in their Facebook bio, which sums it up well: “Throughout the years the lyrics of Horna ventured from harsh anti-christian hatred, paganism and fairy tales to severe exultations of the occult, the mysteries of the dark side of mankind and Satanism – from youthful outbursts of anger to ever more maturing inner enlightenment.”
Horna plays “trve” black metal in the traditional sense. The vocals are harsh, the guitar picking fast, the drumming relentless. But they write thoughtful, contemplative melodies that are accessible and memorable, too. It’s not all about blast beats and growling, but much more complex. And somehow, the music is meditative and comforting. Another thought, I think this black metal must be how all rock music sounds to the infant in the womb: filtered and distorted by the mother’s own heartbeat and breathing. I know, weird, but I am funny like that.
The current lineup for Horna (which means abyss or hell, by the way) includes founding member guitarist Shatraug with vocalist Spellgoth, drummer Vainaja, guitarist Infection, and bassist Qraken. Their “ritual” will be performed Saturday night, May 26, at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest. If some of the early satanic acts have chased you away, Horna should invite you back in.