Horns     

Dominvs Umbraes
None Shall Defy Records
2012

Chilean black metal tyranny assails your senses with darkness and obscurity on this remastered and rereleased underground gem.  Originally recorded in 2000 but not released until 2009 Dominvs Umbraes reverberates with second wave atmosphere.  Fast and grim the album opens with As Rain Falls.  The hollow production adds a layer of arcane origins to this album.  From the Crypt initially plods with a funeral procession feeling as demonic vocals and trebly riffs cover the song with a nocturnal mood.  The pace quickens and the music becomes even more sinister.  A mournful voice creates a ghostly atmosphere while the drums tempestuously swirl.  The music overall sounds like a cross between Under A Funeral Moon era Darkthrone and De Mysteriis era Mayhem.  Also there are echoes of Ungod lurking in there as well.  Upon A Nameless Grave embodies the single-minded hypnotic riffing of certain Transilvanian Hunger songs.  Icy Nordic riffs, hollow and unfeeling paint the track Rituum and definitely have my mind recalling Mayhem.  Carmilliah swoons with sweeping cold melodies that invoke images of freezing winds screaming within the barren valleys of the European Alps.  The album is brought to a chilling climax with Ceremonial Dusk.  A hyper-blasting drum beat drops into some midtempo hammering before violently erupting again.  I know I compare this Horns album two those two landmarks of Norwegian black metal.  But let me be clear, this album is able to capture that same obscure intensity and aura of the early second wave.  If it were released at the same time this might possibly be hailed in a similar breath as to those classics.  This is a truly great album of traditional black metal malevolence.  It is merciless and cold, as unfeeling as the frigid north winds.