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The Horde – Thy Blackened Reign

The Horde
Thy Blackened Reign
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 July 2011, 4:11 AM

Over the years, and after listening to numerous Speed / Thrash Metal bands, I think that there aren't too many bands out there that take the mythical Viking theme as their own prime possession. It has been always the social decay, Satanism and psychological issues that took this amazing Metal mixture yet the vicious Vikings weren’t always there to surge blood under such an energetic music. Besides DEKAPITATOR that gave this great theme attention, the rather newcomer US group, THE HORDE, dug deep into the ruins and crossed their axes with horned the same old leather caps.

Newly signed to Stormspell Records, THE HORDE commenced its first marauder sail with “Thy Blackened Reign”. Old school Speed and Thrash Metal sounded great with the same grubby, filthy and groovy halo just as VENOM and CELTIC FROST once did. Moreover, NWOBHM came to knock hard with well played melodies and cool harmonies that will share their bliss with fans that seek the same sensations of the early 80s. Furthermore, THE HORDE, with their old school vision, had a fine orientation for groove. In overall, you can predict that this band has a nice mixture of references as of VENOM, CELTIC FROST, IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER and MOTORHEAD that took a deep dive into the lungs of MACHINE HEAD.

The way I saw it, THE HORDE might have sounded modern in several aspects of their production and some of the compositions, yet they have never forgotten the old roots that pumped the blood and energy that served the earlier giants of the past. As for the production, I would have to admit that I heard better old school outcomes than what I had here, in particular the drum set handling, yet it had its little thrilling. When it came to their songs I felt as if they knew exactly were to hit in order to escalate the rating of what they did. From the tracks that I liked on the album I was able to notice that THE HORDE didn’t exactly mean to sound too catchy or too commercialized and for me it was enough to enjoy their efforts even more. With their straightforwardness, it looked like that simultaneously THE HORDE made sure that nearly every song that carried with it a deeper sense of groove, or even with strong Speed Metal fuses, will have that melodic touch of NWOBHM as well as great guitar kick ass solos to enhance it.

“Odin’s Blood”was my personal favourite. Even though it wasn’t the ultimate classy Speed / Thrash Metal tune, especially with its smacking groove, it had some strong vigour that made it slice everything on its path. The slightly catchy “Super Tusk” at first seemed like a mimic version of the former when it came to its chorus performance and its pattern, yet you would be able to see that it has different qualities after all on its other sections. “Into War We Ride” was a hefty kind of a war song, with a nice touch of MANOWAR meets VENOM. This one bared an attacking riffages along with an unmerciful straightforward chorus. “Death Foretold” and “Thy Blackened Reign” were little darker features of Thrash Metal. Everything went being black when the howled lyrics of “Thy Blackened Reign” thundered. That was a really good one. The final “With Death (Comes THE HORDE)” was a very much like any other, as I call it, motivational tune to show the might of the band and its name. It was well connected to theme and went on pretty nicely.

To me, THE HORDE sounded very much like VENOM, even a bit like CRONOS, as those two groups once were back in their days of prime. Although the two aren’t as before, also with the fact that one of those doesn’t exist anymore, it is good to know and listen to newly found runner ups for the throne of old school evil. “Thy Blackened Reign” is the official debut punch and I can’t wait for the second one. 

4 Star Rating

1. Death Foretold
2. Thy Blackened Reign
3. Hell Beast of the Pale Frost
4. Odin' Blood
5. Into War We Ride
6. Super Tusk
7. War God
8. A Kingdom Cries
9. Vengeance for a King
10. With Death (Comes the HORDE)
Duncan– Vocals / Bass
Tim Matthews– Guitars
Derek Joseph Ahrens– Guitars
James Whitehurst– Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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Edited 01 December 2022

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