Thank Satan for Horna. The Finns are one of those bands you can always depend upon to consistently deliver solid albums and eighth full-length ‘Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa’ is yet another worthy effort from Shatraug and his unblessed partners in grime. The integration of new vocalist Spellgoth into the camp is a possible talking point but let it be known that there is no radical departure from the tried-and-trusted Horna formula (well, not as far as I can detect, anyway).

Horna have kept the bar remarkably high for the last decade-and-a-half, releasing one quality LP after another. My own personal favourites have been ‘Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne’ and ‘Ääniä Yössä’ but I can honestly say I’ve never stuck on a Horna record or CD and thought ‘this blows’ (although, to be fair, ‘Sotahuuto’ was far from a classic).

Five years on from the monstrous clearing of the decks that was ‘Sanojesi Äärelle’, the Finns have returned with a typically brilliant slab of grim Black Metal that sears through the speakers like Lucifer’s cum and takes no prisoners along the way. Creepy intro ‘Alku’ sets the tone and some 48 minutes and nine subsequent tracks later we know we are truly in the presence of evil.

An excellent production lets every note blaze through from the netherworld and a tasty inlay on the vinyl edition supplements an already-fantastic release.

Evilometer: 555/666