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Hornwood Fell - Yheri

Hornwood Fell
by Danny Sanderson at 12 April 2016, 2:16 AM

Italy's HORNWOOD FELL have made a significant amount of impact since their formation less than three years ago. Their debut, self titled record established the band as a force to be reckoned with in the Italian, and indeed worldwide, Black Metal scene. Their newest, sophomore effort, "Yheri", sees the band take a step on a much more interesting, progressive musical path which, although still rooted in Black Metal, shows a lot of promise.

"Walking in the Woods", the albums opening effort, is an incredibly intense, full throttle piece of music, tinged with tight and catchy melodic flourishes. There's a great mix of both distorted and cleaner tones, which gives this song a much more eclectic and interesting feel. "The Encounter" continues in much the same vein, with fierce drumming and solid, crunching guitar hooks, coupled with some sharp and shrill vocals. "At His Awakening" surges forward at a steady, blistering pace, with gnarly, jarring guitar lines and hellish drums providing a vicious focal point for the music. The vocals range from shrill howls to bellowing chants, which gives this monolithic, sprawling track a bit of variety. There's a few moments where the music lulls, and heads down a much slower and softer pace, using cleaner tones to create a melodious, atmospheric interlude, before heading into this songs final, ferocious minutes. This is an incredibly eclectic and diverse song that draws upon a lot of great ideas and sounds, and showcases the scope of what this band is capable of doing. This is quickly followed by "The Snowstorm", another blast of razor sharp musicianship and dense cacophony. It's a whirlwind of Black Metal fury which sounds brilliant. The vocals are much closer to enraged roars than the blood-curdling shrieks that have marked the first few songs, and it really complements the much cleaner vocal passages and suits the music down to the ground.

"The Rebellion" is probably the most epic sounding and powerful track on the whole record, with some hair-raising, great guitar hooks that Immediately grab and maintain the listeners attention. Towards the end of the song, the feel of the song begins to change, and it becomes a much more morose and shadowy track, taking on a darker musical approach that works just as well as the epic sound that characterised the first half of the song. "The Other Generated", albums sixth track, is easily the most infectious track on this record. The song slowly builds some expectation in the listener with some sparse, clean guitar lines for the first couple of minutes, before launching into a compelling aural assault of buzz saw riffs, wailing vocal lines and intense, concrete drumming. It's a very impressive track that is definitely one of the best on the record. The second to last song on this opus, "These Trees Are Watching", is a short, instrumental acoustic piece that sounds great, and helps to break the album up a little bit before jumping into its monstrous death throes, in the form of "Them"; this shows a lot of great, progressive touches being thrown into the music, from clean guitars and vocals to much more reserved drumming, and this song sounds all the better for these elements. After the vast majority of this record, which consists of speed and aggression driven tracks, it's a nice change to hear a track that steps out of this mould and does something different. It's a really good note on which to close this record.

This is a very solid record that clearly builds upon the strengths of the bands first album, and begins to carve out a distinct sound and style. The Black Metal is tight, precise and has a great production, and the progressive hints that are dropped into the record as it progresses shows a lot of promise and intriguing ideas begin to come to the fore. It's clear that the band are slowly moving away from the traditional Black Metal sound, and if this is an indication of the way their music is going, then it's safe to say that whatever HORNWOOD FELL follow this up with, it's sure to be an interesting and exciting piece of music.

3 Star Rating

1. Walking In The Woods
2. The Encounter
3. At His Awakening
4. The Snowstorm
5. The Rebellion
6. The Other Generated
7. These Trees Are Watching
8. Them
Andrea Vacca - Bass
Andrea Basili - Drums
Marco Basili - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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Edited 28 May 2023

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