The Horde-Thy Blackened Reign
I don't know why but this seems like a strange band for Stormspell to sign. I don't mean it in a bad way but I've had a hard time wrapping my hands around what makes this band tick and they just seem (at least to me) to be an odd fit for Stormspell. Either way here is what I know for sure. The band formed in 2006 and this is their sophomore release and first album for Stormspell. Following their 2008 EP (From Empire to Ashes) with a full-length album that by all accounts is much more diverse and heavy is a good move in my book. Now as the band was formed in 2006 trying to wrap your hands around original ideas at this late in the game can be tough. While the band calls themselves "Viking Metal" by my account The Horde throw a lot more into the heavy metal blender and after pushing blend whip up some interesting results. Most listeners would label the band a blend of speed metal/thrash and doom. That is fair enough I suppose. More so though I picked up bits of Slayer, Cryptic Slaughter, Testament, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the doom of bands like Pentagram. Like I said it's an odd mix but man if The Horde doesn't pull it off 99% of the time! Thy Blackened Reign was recorded in analog and that certainly helps give the album that old school charm. Engineered, mixed and mastered by John Hopkins and John Svec at Minstrel Studios in Iowa City the album feels like something lost to the ages. In that regard I can see Stormspell being a good home for The Horde. Using old school equipment isn't a new concept. That said The Horde have a real promising sophomore release on their hands and it will be interesting watching this band grow and evolve.