Hortus Animae are a band from Italy that plays a very progressive and symphonic form of black metal and this is a review of their 2014 album "Secular Music" which was released by Flicknife Records.
A very dark, melodic and heavy sound starts off the album along with a mixture of black metal screams and death metal growls and you can also hear elements of doom metal in their musical sound along with a very symphonic atmosphere as well as some clean singing vocals being utilized at times and most of the tracks are very long and epic in length.
You can hear a great amount of progressive and gothic elements coming out of the keyboards as well as the band using a good mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts along with some blast beats being utilized at times, the solos and leads the band uses are very melodic and they bring an 80's metal feeling to the recording and the music also has a very decent balance between both clean and heavy parts.
Spoken word parts can be heard in certain sections of the recording along with some elements of brutal death metal and one of the later tracks is divided into 3 different parts and throughout the recording you can hear a bit of the 90's avant garde black metal sound in their songs and halfway through the album small amounts of female vocals and ethic music sounds are brought in briefly and the band also brings in an an instrumental before returning back to tracks with vocals and they close the album with a cover of Jethro Tull's "Aqualing"..
Hortus Animae plays a musical style that is mostly rooted in black metal but bring in elements of death metal doom, gothic and progressive rock to create a very original sounding recording, the production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover anti religion, occult, dystopian, and philosophical themes.
In my opinion Hortus Animae are a very great sounding progressive and symphonic black metal band and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "God And His Disgusting Children" "Dystopian Apocalypse" and "Chamber Of Endless Nightmares". 8 out of 10.