Horns Against Heaven
Melas Khole Productions 2007
The frigid wastelands of Iceland finally deliver a black metal band worthy of such a place of origin. Glacially cold but with a strong sense of melody comes Finngalknís take on traditional black metal. Horns Against Heaven is sort of like Immortal meeting At the Gates in a crypt for a midnight ritual. However I donít want to impart the wrong impression. There is no sign of the commercial trendiness that has plagued the Gothenburg scene. For example there is some really pleasant hooks that come to light in Their Broken Monuments which serve to enhance the emotional depth of the song rather than the commercial accessibility of the track. Finnglakn also manages to shine a lot on the bass guitar lines which are usually way too buried and underutilized in this genre. Sometimes the bass lines reminds me of early Khold. On Blackened Bones traditional black metal blast beat riffing rages before settling into some more rock oriented passages. Keybreaker is more subtle with its subdued melodies, spiteful vocals and jamming bass lines which are conducive to some lethargic headbanging. Into the Malicious Tomb draws me in with a foot-tapping Black Ní Roll rhythm before unleashing a soaring melodic riff similar to Dissection at their coldest. The title track is an instrumental of driving riffs and sweeping melodies as well as chugging breakdowns and exemplifies Finnglaknís style perfectly. Whereas albums closer, The Ritual opens with a rock and roll flourish before its full black metal fury strikes all within earshot dead and frozen. Finnglakn has constructed an album that serves notice that Iceland has arrived in the scene as they are capable of both quality musicianship as well as standing strong with musical integrity and hatefilled aesthetics. Finngalknís debut is a confident foot forward and I feel indicative of the blasphemous mayhem that we can expect from their future efforts.