Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, December 5, 2014

Horncrowned - Defanatus

The magic of black metal was never lost on me, even if I felt that 2014 was a year largely devoid of exciting new black metal releases. Horncrowned though seem to be doing something extremely special. Their new record Defanatus is some of the most wonderfully blasphemous and frostbitten music that I have ever heard. Horncrowned understand what true black metal is all about and rather than alienating the listener they help them rise up, embrace the murk, and become one with their true selves.

I think a large part of the appeal that this band has for me comes with their sense of bombast. These songs are epic in scale and outline the doings of greater beings. This is not a band for the faint of heart, for their frozen attack will beat you into a corner as you slowly suffer and die. There is an incredible darkness behind this sound, as epic as it may be, you get the sense that Defanatus was written by people truly in touch with their inner despair. As these songs blaze out of your speakers it is easy to be overwhelmed by their incredible hatred. It takes a few listens to really get at what the band is trying to do with this record, and when you finally do gain purchase into the bitter tundras of Horncrowned's music, it is possible to find a spark of redemption.

Defanatus is a wonderfully interestin black metal release because it embodies the glorious darkness that I think connects so many of us with the genre. There is nothing happy to be had here and at times the blazing riffs make you feel like you are falling into some dark corner of hell. Isn't that the point though? To prove that beyond all human suffering there is hope? This is an album that will drag you down and make you stronger, dig into it and you just might see a whole world unfold before you, it's simply that good.

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