Formerly called Shadowed, Horna has been a Finnish black metal institution since 1993. The band, whose name means "abyss," hews to black metal's old school -- blastbeats, blasphemy, and buzzsaw guitars. Horna is about as underground as black metal gets, fully utilizing the genre's predilection for limited-edition split albums and vinyl releases. Thus, the band's discography is staggeringly long, exceeding 30 releases on assorted labels with no imminent letdown in productivity. Its fluid lineups have been likewise numerous, with members drifting in and out on various instruments. Quantity generally hasn't trumped quality, though. Though Horna pushes no boundaries, the band is a reliable source of raw, cold black metal.
Horna's charter members were guitarists Shatraug and Moredhel. The addition of drummer Gorthaur led to a self-produced demo, Varjoissa. Vocalist Nazgul (of Satanic Warmaster and Gestapo 666 notoriety) joined up for a second demo, 1997's Hiidentorni. Nazgul's tenure yielded a string of vinyl and CD releases, including full-lengths Haudankylmyyden Mailla and Sudentaival. During this time, his bandmates embarked on a formidable array of side projects, including Battle, Battlelore, Mirkhall, Sargeist, Ravening, and Khert-Neter. Corvus replaced Nazgul in 2001; guitarist Saturnus' enlistment in 2003 established the band's current core of Shatraug, Corvus, and Saturnus. Corvus' regime has produced several full-lengths, a live album (Black Metal Warfare), a handful of EPs, and splits with Musta Surma, Desolation Triumphalis, Ouroboros, Woods of Infinity, Behexen, Blackdeath, Kerberos, Tenebrae in Perpetuum, Sacrificia Mortuorum, and Peste Noire.
For those intimidated by this onslaught of wax, a good starting point would be 2006's well-received (and umlaut-ridden) Ääniä Yössä full-length. In 2007, Horna issued Sotahuuto, a stylistic tribute to Bathory, on Grievantee, as well as the Pimeyden Hehku MMCD, sold on the band's "Pest Pandemic Contamination Over Europe" Tour. ~ Cosmo Lee