Recently, I’ve been on one hell of a black metal kick. The genre continually churns out some of the interesting, and in my opinion, oddly accessible music out of any of extreme metal’s many subgenres. After all, there are bands doing things like incorporating shoegaze, or hardcore, or even psychedelic/progressive rock into their sound, and all seem to fit oddly well. And in all of this, of course, there are those simple few black metal bands who just know how to write a very nasty, well done classic black metal lick and not need any of the tricks or frills. With that thought, I present to you Horse Drawn, a black metal band hailing from the frozen hell hole of the mid-West, Ohio.

To be fair, saying that Horse Drawn has no tricks or frills is a bit of an over statement and unfair to the band in many ways. Many of their riffs have “pop sensibility” of acts such as Immortal, providing an easy point of access for any unfamiliar with the often dissonant, unforgiving nature of most black metal. However where Horse Drawn differ from many of their peers is in their ability to layer their rock’n’roll grandeur into the black metal riffage, making for more subtle, interesting hooks that stealthily capture the ear of the listener instead of beating them over the head with it. Not to say that there is anything wrong with bands like say, Oranssi Pazuzu, who wear their influences on their sleeves. But the subtle approach works well for Horse Drawn, providing a brighter tone to an otherwise bleak tone without slipping into the completely bright.

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