Horn – Turm Am Hang

Germany’s Horn is really the work of one man who calls himself Nerrath. I hate to call this “bedroom” black metal because it seems this is much more than that. As a matter of fact, this is some really good folk inspired melodic black metal. With seven full lengths under his belt since creating this project in 2002, it seems that Nerrath is quite prolific and has gotten some decent reviews from those who have heard his previous work. The latest album, Turm Am Hang, is my first experience with this project and I must say I’m quite surprised. This is an album that has all of the ingredients needed to stand with some of the genres heavy hitters. As with any great album, it’s the songwriting that truly matters and this album has some great epic songs. However, it’s also how those songs flow together that carries a lot of weight with me and this album has both great songs and a flow that carries each song into the next.

One of the biggest things about this album that sets this apart from what I consider “bedroom” black metal is the quality of the production. This album has this professional quality about it that adds to the listening experience. Added with the excellent songwriting of this album you can see how truly special this album truly is “Alles in einem Schnitt” kicks things off and right away you seem to feel the folk vibe. It even has some Sognametal elements weaving it’s way throughout the song. Those melodies make this song really catchy. The vocals are your typical for this genre and are sometimes part of that folk element. They are mostly harsh but there is a clean, almost chanting part in the middle of the song. Although not as epic as some of the songs that come after it, it is an excellent way to get the ball rolling.

The rest of the album sees the songs go into a more epic direction. You can hear elements of Myrkgrav, Mithotyn, early Thyrfing throughout this album, especially on the title track, which is okay with me because I enjoy that sound. “Die mit dem Bogen auf dem Kreuz” is one of the more epic tracks and is my favorite song on the album. Starting off with some slow clean guitars and clean vocal chants this epic riff comes in and sets the mood. Halfway through the song just explodes with epic black metal blasts and killer melodic tremolo riffs. “Bastion, im Seegang tauber Fels” is, perhaps the most melodic on the album and is another favorite as it has many layers that flow together to allow you to just get lost in the song.

The album is not perfect but the only things that I find to be it’s true flaws is the instrumental, “Lanz und Spieß,” which just seems unnecessary to me and is rather annoying to listen to. You will skip it, trust me. “Also, there is a cover of a song by Cedar Rapids, Iowa band When Bitter Spring Sleeps. The song is called, “The Sky Has Not Always Been This Way,” and is an okay song but I don’t think it’s as good as the original songs on this album. It appears that some of the vocals on this song are performed by the person who penned the song Lord Sardonyx.

All in all this album was highly enjoyable to listen to. Even with it’s slight flaws you can’t deny the sheer talent on display here and I’m actually quite curious to hear the rest of this project’s catalog.