|Review: Horna - Vihan Tiellä|
Label: Frostscald Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: March 1, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.06/5 (81.18%) (17 Votes)
I thought this was a new studio album by this prolific Finnish black metal horde, but it turns out that it is a live album recorded in Athens in 2007. The booklet even includes the lyrics (in Finnish, of course) and it wasn't until the last page that I saw an indication that it was a live album. Even the album itself is subtle in its live setting since you can barely hear the crowd between songs – I'm not sure if the crowd noises were intended to be discreet on the recording or if the crowd was just too necro to sound alive, but if you're one who hates live albums because of the crowd noises, have no fear with this one.
With that said, the band's performance is pretty fucking amazing. Horna is definitely not a band that sounds overproduced in studio, but here their sound is even more raw and that alone packs one hell of a punch that can be felt throughout the album. The sound is slightly cavernous which provides for a somewhat outer-worldy atmosphere – the whole thing is haunting, raw, dirty, evil and downright savage at times – it's almost as if the band is out to get you. Fucking aggressive feeling, and lovin' it! They usually do this pretty well on their studio albums, but here Horna's music takes another dimension, really coming to life and taking no prisoners. The vocals are just as demented as the music; some of the screams are simply out of this world and make you wonder if somebody was being tortured in there or something. There are times where the vocals get a bit lost in the mix, but that's not unusual on a live album. "Interactions" with the crowd are pretty much limited to shouting the song names – really this thing flows just like a studio album, but with the savagery turned up to 11.
Not big on studio albums? Well, if you're still reading then you know that this is not your average studio album, but rather "Horna at the über raw". This is one live album worth owning.
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