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Promethean Horde - Ashes Of The Empyrean

Promethean Horde
Ashes Of The Empyrean
by Tom Colyer at 22 November 2014, 11:08 PM

First of all, I'd just like to say that PROMETHEAN HORDE have quite possibly won my heart over simply by having one of the most epically Metal sounding names I have heard in a very, very long time. I don't know why, but something about it just reached down into the darkest corners of my soul and said “Yes”. There is a lot to say about names really; as much as we may try not to we are all slanted by a band's name before we even listen to the music. If you look at a selection of albums, you are always going to assume someone with a name like “Cadaver Molester” is going to be a tad heavier than a band called “Sunshine Sparkleballs”. I have learned that generally you will be wrong in this assumption but nonetheless a name means an awful lot and PROMETHEAN HORDE certainly chose a superb moniker.

Once I got past the name game and got stuck into the meat of these Floridian Metallers, I was not disappointed. They are listed as Black Metal, but I'll be honest, I'm finding it difficult to lumber them into that particular pit of abyss and demon worship. There are a lot of Blackened elements in there but they seem to bounce between so many niches that they are as hard to pin down as an epileptic ant.

The album opens up with no airy-fairy intro, it just gets straight into the fury. The vocals are clearly the blacker part of the whole and Nickulus' vocals are very reminiscent of DIMMU BORGIR with the throaty crunch that has become so indicative of Black Metal. The musical side of things manages to maintain this blackened tone for quite a while as well with fast tremolo picking on the guitars overriding any kind of overtly technical riffs and the customary blast beats tearing a hole through the side of your head. The music takes a real sideways swing about five minutes into “Unknown Corpses” though and before you know it the growly demon voice has been replaced with some kind of bizarre clean vocal that is almost akin to Gregorian Plain Chant. This is where things start getting really weird and the next song breaks into this same curious style towards the end. It's not that it is bad, it just feels so alien at this point in the album that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. My attempts to pin the music down to a sound bite completely fell apart when “Bring Forth The Fires” began and everything had suddenly turned into a pirate shanty. It was around this point when I gave up trying to think of them as Black Metal and started to imagine the album as more of a strange, untameable hybrid that had broken free of it's pen and bolted for the nearest mosh pit.

The only real downside of this album is the production. They have clearly spent a lot of time balancing the guitars and getting them to near perfection in the mix but they seem to have forgotten the rest of the instruments. The drums sit uncomfortably in the background not quite knowing what to do with themselves and the bass occasionally goes over to see if they are ok. The vocals are for the most part very well looked after but there are quite a few moments where they sound as if the producer just got kind of bored and started watching a spider crawl into his beard.

Overall though, this is a fantastic offering as far as debut albums go and I am very excited ton hear more from these guys in the future. An epic name and a whole bastard load of promise.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Artisan Of Silence
2. Perish In The Elements
3. Spirit Of The Water
4. Ördögszereto
5. Unknown Corpses
6. Winter Cold Within Your Soul
7. Dark Black Catacomb
8. Bring Forth Fire
9. Voices Visions
10. Ashes Of The Empyreans
11. Divinity By Conquest
Lineup:
Nickulus - Vocals
Jecheal - Bass
Jack Goodwin - Guitars
Jones - Guitars
Gary Stockton - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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