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Hordak - Under The Sign Of Wilderness

Under The Sign Of Wilderness
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 May 2012, 2:41 AM

Wow, I don’t think that I heard the name Hordak since my childhood’s days of watching the well known cartoon series of “Masters Of The Universe”. Man, there were great times back then, but I can’t complain of the present either. So what drove a group of four men to call themselves in the name of one of the most notorious villains of the series? I guess its passion, and it probably has something to do with wanting to sound evil but with a name that would also mention childhood likes. For that that I salute them, I think it’s great. Along with the fine name of HORDAK, these chaps from Spain have been trying to implement Folk features into a refined and melodic kind of Black Metal following various of forms of dirty Heavy Metal and they have been doing it for ten years straight. The usage of Folk tales from both early Celtic and Iberian origins is a great idea and fortunately these guys knew how to compose the right music to go together with the themes. “Under The Sign Of Wilderness” comes as the band’s third offering for all you Pagan Metal fans out there, but I have to admit that Heavy Metal fans can also find themselves tuning in the fine outputs of this release.

Probably the most enticing thing about this release is its melodies and great lead guitar works, which also include several soloing sections. Without the assistance of keyboards that are mostly common in this style of extreme Metal music, the melodies, surfing together with the intense trill oriented riffing, provide the basis of the atmospheric nature that this album bestows. Through the best examples such as “Under The Sign Of Wilderness” and “We Are The New Power To Rise” I felt the striking elements of RUNNING WILD along with a vast majority of melodic Black / Viking Metal bands like early BORKNAGAR, WATAIN, DISSECTION and SIEBENBURGEN. Within these tracks there are anthem like features following the intensity of what would be recognized as Black Metal riff frenzy. However, just to ensure the ones who don’t really appreciate the untamed manner of old school Black Metal, in the case of HORDAK, their approach towards Black Metal might sound similar to the Norwegian style yet it is much more subdued and refined than the morbid counterpart and it is much more graceful and flowing. Furthermore, I must imply that the vocalist / guitarist, Autumn, unlike in many other Black / Viking Metal outputs, has vocals that aren’t just the scenery but granting access to inhale the cold air that comes out off their stories.

HORDAK turned out to be more melodic than most bands of its kind. When the call of power and passion is in order, they march through with all of their might. “Under the Sign of the Wilderness” made me a fan of theirs and there is a lot to hope for in their next release. Their music is more than solid and it has the ability to captivate.  

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. 722
3. Spreading the Firewings
4. Under the Sign of the Wilderness
5. μόνολίθος (Monoliths)
6. Towards the Cold Eternity
7. The Song of the Distant Waves
8. The Rising of the Warhammers
9. We are the new Power to Rise
10. Lugar Entre Montañas 
Autumn– Guitars / Vocals
Winter– Guitars
A. Mansilla– Bass
J. Sierra- Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 04 February 2023

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