Horn - Jahreszeiten
This modern black metal band hails from Germany, and plays a folkish (read - "Medieval") subtype more akin to Norway's Windir than their "War Metal" countrymen. Jahreszeiten is the one-man-band's debut from 2005. Nerrath (sole member) uses dual guitar harmonies to their limit on this satisfyingly DIY sounding release.
The lyrics appear to switch from German to English throughout, one can never be sure. But from the sound of it, this is one of those "homeland" black metal albums, more concerned with sounding ancestral than evil. The result is some great riffs and melancholic harmonies that are bittersweet and damn-near beautiful at times. Track 4 opens with such a classic medieval riff, you can almost see the knights on horseback, riding valiantly through the countryside. Horn really do sound like Germany's answer to Windir, with a few more variations within their tracks than Valfar's project. With the exception of a short outro track, the songs are +6 minutes in length, covering a great deal of ground in each song. He also manages to achieve quite a bit of atmosphere without the use of keyboards.
Production-wise, Horn's debut sounds like it was recorded in a garage, but each instrument is clear and happily in its own space in the mix (with the exception of a bass guitar which I'm not sure exists at all). This is a very listenable record which will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the more melodic and "nature-focused" black metal bands (again, Windir, and to some extent, Wolves in the Throneroom). Jahreszeiten is a nice, rich listen and worthy of attention. It gets a 3.5 out of 5.