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In preparation for this review, I decided to roam the internet to see what I could find out about this elusive band of, apparently, otherwise famous musicians. Whilst their identities still remain a mystery (ignoring the usual guess-work of the metal faithful), it came to my attention that a few reviews reflected negatively on this album. Some reviews harped on about their over-reliance on industrial elements (even the band mention using industrial metal elements in their blogs). Now, I don't know what sort of crack is being smoked here, but there are NO INDUSTRIAL ELEMENTS on this album. Sure, sound effects and drones are used, but that's not industrial now is it? However, what we do have is a rather fine slice of black-metal influenced hardcore. Think a more modern take on Kreator's 'Renewal' album mixed with mid-90s Bathory, and you'll be close to the (sign of the black) mark. Certain tunes have an epic quality, which is typical of black metal's frosty nature. Melded with the hardcore slant, it's quite effective, if not entirely unique (Scum having already walked similar ground with equally successful results, if perhaps less epic). Production-wise things are nice and clear, if generally a little dirty sounding. The songs that stick out most are the doomily epic 'Hail Chaos' and the frost-bitten fury of 'Living Abomination'. 'Bisdomenrallas Döden' however, signals a slight downturn in quality, meandering a little too much during the middle section, and never really making up for it despite a furious race for the finish (ruined by some drone-work at the end). This theme sadly carries on with 'Domen Mot Mänmiskan'; a very drab intro (reminiscent of Bathory's 'Twilight of the Gods' album, without the grand scope) leads to an uninspired alternative doom tune. So, it would seem, Horde of Hel are best when the hardcore influence is dominant. However, this is still worthy of investigation and, if you're starved of metal right now, perhaps even your cash. Whatever the case, their next release will be an interesting one.
Regain Records
Review by Steve Cowan
22nd June 2009
1) Motvärn; 2) Leave Life Behind
3) Born Again Into Submission
4) Hail Chaos
5) The Glory Of Massmurder; 6) Dödens Ära
7) Living Abomination
8) Visdomen Kallas Döden
9) Domen Mot Människan
10) Blott Tvivel& Skam
11) Legacy Of Vengeance
12) Ashborn
13) March For War
14) Död, Naturens Val
"Think a more modern take on Kreator's 'Renewal' album mixed with mid-90s Bathory, and you'll be close to the (sign of the black) mark."