Raffy Reviews - Horn: 'Retrograd'

Misanthropic black metal heaviness slightly condensed

March 9, 2018


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Horn is a black metal project situated in Germany that has been active in the scene for at least the last decade-and-a-half or so. Since the inception of this act back in the early 2000s, seven mainline albums were released in addition to a few EPs and such...with the central themes of the music being rooted in Paganism as well as references to the state of nature and man. And while all of this was made possible by merely a single mortal man, the talent and effort is definitely all there.

Album Breakdown

This week, the latest effort from Horn is being unveiled to us all courtesy of Iron Bonehead Productions. The new addition, being an EP or "miniature album" this time around, consists of 26 minutes of black metal content broken up into six distinct tracks. Retrograd will be available digitally as well as on both CD and vinyl format. 

The Pros

This Retrograd EP definitely has a sort of low-fi "kvlt" feel to it akin to oldschool Darkthrone and such. The production quality on it is fittingly obscure and muddy, which goes quite fairly well with the instrumentals. Guitars are pretty standard black metal riffs and drumming patterns consist mostly of blastbeats with some added effects here and there. Vocals are about as hard-hitting as they get for this genre, with unrelenting high-pitched chaos and dissonance. The EP begins with a rather amusing acoustic composition that goes on for a couple of minutes and comprises some clean picking with old world percussional assets that fill the backdrop. Then, the music suddenly goes into tremolo riffs and black metal destruction. "Bocksfuss" is a standout song for me on this release due to its compelling acoustic introduction, clever transitions, and vocal variety that brings some ancient chanting and cleans to the table during the track's latter half. The album, especially in the second half, also offers some Viking metal vibes and folk undertones all around.

The Cons

I wasn't personally too crazy about the third track, "Bocksfuss - Einleitung", which serves as a sort of filler track or interlude consisting of more instrumentals that are similar to the ones found on the introductory song. Also, the final track "De Einder" is an odd one that feels out of place due to its melancholic vibe, though the return of the unique vocals and riffs somewhat make up for it.

The Verdict

In all, Retrograd is a fairly interesting EP for its eclectic array of sounds and song structures in addition to its unique or unconventional concepts. Sure it is slightly condensed in terms of content and "kvlt"-ness, but it manages to still get the ole misanthropic black metal feel and message across, with music that kept me entertained for its 26 minute running time. It's a recommended listen for fans of the band and enthusiasts of the more progressive aspects that the genre has to offer.


Fave Tracks: "Retrograd", "Bocksfuss"

For Fans Of: DrudkhSkogen

**This release is available now at Iron Bonehead Productions' Bandcamp!**  


Support your fave artists and musicians!

-Review by: Dave Raffy

Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter


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