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Firn – Frostwärts

by Will Travers at 15 May 2022, 11:44 PM

Well, with the likes of Wacken Winter Nights held in Germany, I think it is safe to say that there is an appetite for the crushing depths of Pagan Black Metal. But when you think about it, it really does make sense, the snow covered forests would give birth to this odd genre cross over. But Horda has their solo project FIRN, with debut album “Frostwärts” and yes, it is everything you wanted it to be. The artwork definitely playing to more of the Pagan side of things, but still eye catching.

Opening is the titular “Frostwärts” and the ten minute track takes its time to build. But the layers that it develops over the time are well worth it. With each layer adding its own little dimension to the overall music. Brutal scathing vocals pierce through the folky undertones, adding these really rough ad sharp edges to a really beautiful piece of tracking and creating this unique sound. On first listen I really wasn’t too sure what to think, but it grew on me!

“Urkraft” is a much more deliberate pace, steadily hammering away through my headphones, in fact I almost expected to hear ‘I am a dwarf…’ permeate through the headpiece. I really can’t think what to try and compare the overarching style of the music to. It’s something I have not come across before, it is trail blazing and ground breaking and you know what? I’m here for it. I have always like to think of Black Metal gigs as quasi rituals (especially in dark, snowy forests); but when the Folk / Pagan styling are combined on top you get this fun and playful undertone that is pierced over and over again by the crushing despair and heavy riffage of Horda.

The final track I want to hone in on is “Vater Berg” and straight away you can feel the Folk styling just saturate the music and it truly is wonderful. But that is quickly accented, or in fact even harmonised to an extent by the Black Metal stylings creating this almost yin yang type effect. Seriously both genres have such contrasting styles that it is genuinely astounding to me that they are so complimentary of one another.

Overall, this is a solid album. I would like to see it produced without MIDI or programmable tracking in, as I feel that could really unlock the full potential of the music. But, even with that in mind, what we have now is pretty fucking sold and Horda should be immensely proud of what they have produced!

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Frostwärts
2. Urkraft
3. Wo Die Winde Thronen
4. Sonnenrad
5. Menhir
6. Vater Berg
7. Firn
Horda - Everything
Record Label: Einheit Produktionen


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Edited 27 September 2022

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