The Horn is a rather unknown band, even if it was formed back in 1997 and has already 12 full-length albums plus many split releases. It is the personal project of “A Demon Sheen” from Australia, who composes and performs all music. His obvious passion for ancient Egyptian occult philosophy, mythology and history is the driving force behind his music. His ambition is to turn the whole “Ancient Egyptian Book of The Dead” book into music! And to be more specific, he wants to turn each spell of the Book (in random order) into a separate song. So all lyrics are taken directly from R.O. Faulkner’s translation of the “Ancient Egyptian Book of The Dead”.
He has already released 11 volumes (eleven different full-length albums). First nine were self-released in a very limited number of copies and many of them were also offered as free downloads from his site. The first volume was released back in 1997 and was much more primitive and amateur than the next efforts, which appeared all after 2006! Volumes 2 up to 8 all came up between 2006 and 2007! His first release with a label was in 2007, the compilation “Dawning of an Ancient Sun” by Haarbn Productions from Russia. In 2008 Volume 9 was ready and in 2011 Volume 11, both available for download! In the between he also self-released various split albums with several other artists. Finally in the beginning of 2012 “Volume 10” is officially released by Shaytan Productions, so now there is a chance for a better distribution of his music.
Coming to the music now, it is true that The Horn have a very personal sound. The base of their songs is underground black metal, with an occult industrial approach. Noisy distorted guitars are merged with synths, creating the main melodic lines of their compositions and a very “dirty” sound. Drum machines have a minimal use and are buried in the background. Some songs have a more ambient soundtrack feeling and others a more ritualistic occult sound. His vocals are typical black metal growls and whispering screams, fitting perfectly with their music. There are some eastern melodic references in their songs, but don’t expect typical folk metal tunes or instruments in this one! All “Ancient Egyptian Book of The Dead” volumes have a very dark mystical atmosphere and in my opinion they “dress” this thematology very well. They focus more on the burial art and legends of the Dead of this unparalleled culture and they create a claustrophobic atmosphere, envisioning dark under-tomb tunnels and bringing back to life mummified demons and pharaohs… Except for the “original” 9 songs of this album it also contains 5 bonus tracks, with a total duration of 75 minutes.
Summing up, I believe The Horn is a very interesting band and a worth mentioning effort to express someone’s passion for Ancient Egypt. Their very distorted sound and somehow similar approach in all volumes might limit their fans in the underground circles. Anyway, I think A Demon Sheen’s music never targeted wider audiences… You can check his myspace page, or visit their label’s page in order to buy this album. Shaytan is already planning to release more of The Horn’s albums in the future. I wish one day he will fulfill his goal to turn every spell of the Book into music.