Review Summary: The most defining quintessential quality of this album lies in its weighed equilibrium, emanated from artistic maturity and commitment. Everything here is totally balanced: Melody, Folk themes, catchiness, sorrow, epic moods, speed, rawness, poetry, etc.
Unfortunately almost anything about Black Metal has the potential to readily give way to confiscations by opportunist poseurs and pretenders who have transformed different aspects of BM music and culture into sold out trends and empty gestures - Including aesthetic (wearing corpse paint and adorning the stage with shockingly dark paraphernalia, etc.), technical and formal (raw production, avoiding technicality in musicianship, etc.), and thematic ones (applying occult themes. etc.). Of course many genuine BM artists and bands have been vastly applying these elements in their music, lyrics, artistic persona and live renditions as well. I am referring to poseurs who steal these tactics and use them in most self-indulgent manners only to gain attention and/or to try and cover up the pathetic emptiness of their work. When they insist on raw production and reject Keyboards it is not out of artistic concerns but to falsely seem “Kvlt” and when they apply occult themes and Satanic, Pagan or Heathen elements and terminology it has nothing to do with their true beliefs.
Even the phenomenon of one man BM bands as something acquiesced to out of constraint or a choice made due to personal/artistic preferences has been metamorphosed into some kind of deceptive masquerade by poseurs to fake total misanthropy and/or versatility and artistic genius. In other words, they simply do it to strike the impression of being a full-fledged misanthropic bad ass who tolerates no one and/or to pretend to be a lonesome outsider genius who has been banished by the world!
“Horn”’s Nerrath is as far as can be from these phonies. For many years “Horn” has been one of the most respectable one man BM bands with a truly remarkable body of work. Nerrath is an unpretentious artist who has been doing his thing for years. In fact for a moment I couldn’t believe this is Horn’s 7th full length album, all of them great in their own right. Nerrath has also been the sole force behind “Licht Erlicht”, a great Funeral Doom/ Black Metal band which changed name and style a few years ago and now it is a yet one man Doom/ Progressive Metal band called Latitude Egress.
“Turm Am Hang” (meaning “Tower on the Hillsdie”) is one of the greatest “Horn” albums and in my opinion surely one of the best albums of the year. “Horn” is a Pagan Black Metal band and I’ve always preferred my Pagan Metal music to be delivered with a fair spice of sorrow and melancholy, the way Falkenbach, Primordial, Moonsorrow, Windir and some others have been doing. “Horn” has its fair share of sorrow. Of course Pagan Metal’s melancholy and sadness is not of the same type as the reeling sense of sorrow and despair we particularly experience with DSBM and In fact this difference is one of the basic traits of great works of the genre. Pagan Metal’s sorrow, instead of painfully raising from within, usually originates from a nostalgia for ancient times. Of course this sense of sorrow and loss is related to something long lost, but this fact doesn’t turn this feeling to something futile and kind of a passive static mood, for Pagan Black Metal at its best, inspires the listener to transcend this sorrow and sense of loss into an undying motivation for living life by Pagan/Heathen values. Therefore it may provide the serious audience with a priceless gift, that is an immunity toward the greatest mortal plagues of our times: egotism, consumerism, materialism and hedonism.
The most defining quintessential quality of “Turm Am Hang” lies in its weighed equilibrium, emanating from artistic maturity and commitment. Everything here is totally balanced: Melody, Folk themes, catchiness, sorrow, epic moods, speed, rawness, poetry, tenderness and even clean singing. As an accomplished artist, Nerrath doesn’t need to gain attention by overt indulgences. In fact he has never needed this. The above mentioned equilibrium is the direct result of this genuine spirit and Nerrath’s dignity, both as an artist and as a human being.