There has been a very pleasant trend of going back to the roots of black metal music in recent years, and as in addition to the traditional black metal instrumental and vocal techniques, we are also witnessing a more experimental sound, born from the different symbioses between the different styles of our favorite music genre.
HOR are a Greek duo of the so-called “second wave” of black metal, captured precisely by the Norwegian black metal scene of the 90’s, which laid the foundations for a whole new culture and generation that is truly worshiped today.
The band was found in the fall of 2017 by Ophion (guitars) and Throne (bass and vocals) in Athens, Greece.
The story of the musicians’ union is very reminiscent of the one of Satyr and Frost (Satyricon) – Ophion and Throne were connected around their love of black metal music in its primal and true form, too.
Before meeting each other, they participate in other music projects, but subsequently end their relationship with them precisely because of differences in understanding of how black metal music should sound and what it should express as an emotion.
Gathered together, the musicians begin to unanimously work in one direction – to bring to light even the darkest corner of their minds and souls through the prism of traditional and raw sound, following strictly the freezing cold, Norwegian roots.
An year after their founding, HOR enter Dimon’s Studios in Athens for the recording of their debut album, “Exitium”, which perfectly materializes the ideology of the two talented musicians.
The album lyrics cover topics such as human existence, life and death and the opposite and ever-colliding sides that breathe in each of us.
A statement against all organized religions and insignificant ideas that occupy human thought as parasites.
The main idea of the album is to tell a morbid story about humanity, about all the passion and pain, about all its contradiction.
HOR present their work not simply as a personification of evil, but as a representation of the human element as part of this tormenting evil.
‘Birth of Tragedy’ is a nearly 8-minute “trve north” composition, as if just emerging from the basement of the iconic Helvete store.
Mysteriously entering the realm , with a mystical introduction, the tunes seamlessly transition into true black metal cult, lined by high-end DSBM vocals.
After the fourth minute, the Greek black metal wave is visible for a moment, thanks to the seemingly ritual narrative, which is slightly reminding me of a Rotting Christ’ creation in some way.
For a very short period of time I witnessed a very beautiful combination between the Greek and Norwegian black metal scenes.
I don’t think I’ve heard such a work before.
With all the perfectly measured blasts, primitive vocals and beautifully performed narratives, this song is frankly approaching the pure black metal sound , carrying the piercing cold in its own, unique way.
In ‘The Misanthrope’, the experience is even deeper and more impressive.
Anxiety, cutting misanthropy and energetic blasts coming from some never-ending volcanic source.
At the end of the third minute , a real dark magic occurs and things are completely out of control.
The traditional riffs and bass lines , known very well from the Norwegian black metal scene, are at their finest level here and I’m pretty sure that if he were alive, Øystein ‘Euronymous ‘ Aarseth would want to know the performers very, very closely.
Atmospheric and at the same time pleasantly harsh black metal piece, pure beauty.
‘Time (A Cold Shadow of Death)’ continues the atmosphere from ‘The Misanthrope’ and dispels a very pleasant bone-chilling cold on the listener’s existence.
At one point I was so immersed in the music that I forgot where I was and what I was currently doing.
Something of a great importance when it comes to music.
‘Exitium’, the last track in the album, is actually thematically divided into two parts, combined into one.
Pt.1Mourning for Sun embodies a call, a passionate request for light, and the sadness of the nonexistent warmth in ones life.
Pt2Conquering Chaos resembles a hymn, a hymn to chaos and its influence above the human soul.
It begins with an epic sound , like a triumphant march, gradually unfolded by the vocals in a creation coming from the depths of human metamorphosis and tormented consciousness.
The vocals and the whole atmosphere here are completely able to make you shiver.
A very real song filled with primal emotion and master performance.
Lyrics, instrumental, vocal performance, composition – everything in this album is a real find.
HOR, as sincere followers of the Norwegian black metal scene , pursue their favorite wave relentlessly, but without a doubt, in their own way.
I am very happy to be able to share one of my favorite tracks on the album with you.
“Exitium” will be released on November 1st in the form of vinyl through the Sanit Mils Records label and in the form of a CD through the Metal Throne Records Store.
The album was recorded in the fall of 2018 at Dimon’s Studios, Athens.
Mixing and mastering were done by Dimitris “Dimon’s Night” Sakkas, who also recorded the drums on the album (and did a great job, obviously).
- Birth of Tragedy (07:56)
- The Misanthrope (08:27)
- Time (a Cold Shadow of Death) (06:31)
- Exitium (10:57)
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/HORblackmetal
OFFICIAL LABEL WEBSITE: https://sanitmilsrecords.com