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Audrey Horne - Youngblood

Audrey Horne
by YngwieViking at 14 February 2013, 3:09 PM

The whole story of these guys from Norway started as a creative side-project for ENSLAVED / OV HELL / SAHG guitar players, but AUDREY HORNE has nothing in common musically with any of those more extreme bands, in fact it’s totally a different beast. Think MUSTASCH meets SIDEBURN meets GRAND MAGUS meet CRAWLEY meets HELLFUELED meets THE QUILL. AUDREY HORNE deliver this special smelly seasoned mix that only Scandinavian bands has the secret. It’s a Revival Modern / Vintage rebel act, a sweat & beers Rock ‘n’ Roll  animal from a freezing Northern Country. With F.U.C.K. tattooed in gothic letter in the middle of his hairy chest. His music is organic and bloody realistic, and it’s exactly the same for the almost vintage but dynamic production, live and raw, no tricks, no gimmicks.

However this album starts with a more Metallic flavor than expected. The first number “Redemption Blues” is flirting heavily with early NWOBHM with frantic dual guitar riffing like ANGEL WITCH or HOLOCAUST with a slight THIN LIZZY flavor in the verse, and after the prime surprise, it’s indeed a pretty good tune. The lyric line “…blackout in the red room”, however, made me laugh. But right after that, the good old AUDREY HORNE sound from “Le Fol” is back with “Straight Into Your Grave” and its dirtiest mood, cleverly enhanced with a fine chorus. The tone is the nearest to their roots, an damn dirty underground trip to the smoky club Hard Rock Ambiance. For the title track the pace took a softer turn and the more mainstream melody mixed with stints almost from Alternative-Pop which is quite typical for the Norwegians Rockers, at that point the album seems to be a good effort. We already know that the musical direction is un-risky and set straight to an ultra-catchy Hard Rock with of course, many Classic Rock reminiscences.

The straight & melodic “There Goes A Lady” is a little simplistic for me, but happily “Show And Tell” with its 70s unison riff, push the level higher, a good jam-track especially in a future stage concept vision. The running order is smartly done with precision, with a diversity in the attitude from one cut to another, following that rule, the song “Cards With The Devil” is a little more cerebral, more sophisticated in the arrangements, some lush harmonies, a little less direct with few very retro keys, let’s say it’s a good track with actually a pretty strong vocal performance, with an obvious tribute reference to WHITESNAKE’s hit “Gambler" both lyrically and its chromatic progression.

On the other hand, “Little Pretty Sunshine” is direct, simple and had also this live feel, with a cool bass guitar part but balanced immediately by a heavy muddy sound, a slow and groovy cut named “The Open Sea”, truly down to earth and clearly in the, somber Scandinavian Mood. Once again, beside a vocally fine work, there is an up-tempo title with sharp guitars also pretty British First-class sounding like UFO meet WISHBONE ASH meet JAGUAR meet URIAH HEEP. ”The King Is Dead” is rich and finally one of my favorite track, an intense clever composition, almost Neo-Prog but in the same time, truly and strongly rooted in the Metal tradition
Finally, ”Youngblood” is an easy to digest collection of songs, mostly predictable even if it’s assuredly well crafted, not exactly in the right style to catch my attention, and to be honest, I don’t think that AUDREY HORNE and this album will reach my final 2013 top 100, but if you like this retro sound wave, you can try it. I think, in this particular pigeonholed style, it’s the best you can get. 

3 Star Rating

1. Redemption Blues
2. Straight into Your Grave
3. Youngblood
4. There Goes a Lady
5. Show and Tell
6. Cards with the Devil
7. Pretty Little Sunshine
8. The Open Sea
9. This Ends Here
10. The Kind is Dead
Torkjell "Toschie" Rød – Lead Vocals
Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal – Lead Guitar
Thomas Tofthagen – Lead Guitar
Espen Lien – Bass
Kjetil Greve - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 29 September 2022

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