Horna formed in late 1993 under the name Shadowed, formed by vocalist and guitarist Shatraug and guitarist Moredhel. The name was changed to Horna when drummer Gorthaur joined the band in 1994.
Horna did not start recording until early 1995. The first demo, Varjoissa, was released in September that year and sold out. In 1996, Nazgul von Armageddon took over vocal duties and the band recorded their first full-length album Hiidentorni in January 1997, resulting in a deal with the Greek label Solistitium Records.