Horn hasn’t had a break in its litany of albums throughout the latter half of the 2000s, ”Distanz” being Nerrath’s fourth full-length output, following the very same pattern of melodic, atmospheric and somewhat folkish black metal as his previous records.
The album is a synonym of greyness: the reverberating production makes ”Distanz” reminiscent of the greyest and rainiest days of the year, and the cover art only enhances the vision. This is somehow paradoxal in regard to the actual compositions that comprises rather technical, sinuous and palm-muted guitar riffs and professional, tightly executed drumming. So in a a way, Distanz is quite far from a simple atmospheric black metal album: it is only the lining - caused by the production - that creates the soothing atmosphere. With a more sturdy sound, the technical aspects would be in much higher role. But personally, would I be interested in that? No. I find it only good that the focus is on the desolate, colourless atmosphere rather than on technicality.
Bellicose, mid-range screams and some cleanly-sung choruses accompany the very long compositions (ranging from slow moments to fast bursts of energetic blastbeats) that always exceed the 7-minute mark with only one exception, that being the outro ”To Granne Trakk”, so that ”Distanz” is definitely not easy to digest. A reduction of a track or two would make a more consistent whole, because as a 1-hour monster, ”Distanz” is way too long, the most tiresome moments presented around the middle of the album. Towards the end, the album rises to its standout track, ”Out There, Nowhere...” with its unique, sorrowful tunes and haunting vocals. This song differs from the rest of the tracks, being less meandering in the riff department; the song just lets things loose and repeats the great melody over and over again. It is a nice change in the slightly overabundant sea of riffs that ”Distanz” otherwise is.
Nerrath has managed to create a worthy album with great riffs aplenty, but all in all the album is too prolonged, that being the biggest glitch of ”Distanz”. Horn fans will most likely revere this album and for a good reason because it’s indeed a good record, but it doesn’t present enough many interesting ideas in its 60-minute playing time.