Horde Of Hel
posted on 6/2009 By:
Allegedly a "mysterious, clandestine collective of Swedish black/death metal scene legends," the foursome that comprise Horde of Hel have chosen to cloak themselves in anonymity. While the mildly astute could deduce a strong Marduk connection after a cursory scan of their goofily over-the-top website, let's just play along and give 'em the benefit of the doubt. Horde of Hel choose to remain nameless and faceless because their hateful, vile, nihilistic, filth-ridden, genocidal black metal is just too caustic, too horrific, too misanthopic to be tied to any semblance of the crumbling, fetid human existenence!!!
In their collective mind's eye, anyway. In reality, Blodskam is a mundane, bloated, and unaffecting slab of industrial black metal, in spite of their deluge of rhetorical self-promotion.
For months, the band has been releasing little teaser vids in which their music serves as a soundtrack to various images of human atrocity, delivered in typical tones of sepia and heavy-handed grimness. As a package, this is pretty fucking cool, especially for those with a prediliction towards the unsettling. When the imagery is stripped from the music, though, the remainder is decidedly dull. The guitar tones lack heaviness and menace (remember when that was essential?), the drumming is deliberate and one-dimensional, and the vocals rarely climb out of a cellar of sickly, scowling gurgling. The industrial elements? They take their form in simplistic riffing, mechanized bass drums that march rather than bulldoze, and pseudo-apocalyptic ambient interludes. The sturdiest of these, "Living Abomination," still sounds like a Frontline Assembly b-side circa 1996, exposing the band as slightly out-of-touch, and again proving The Work Which Transforms God to be the exception, not the rule.
For a band so intent on breeding hatred and contempt (again, refer to their borderline-hilarious propaganda), as well as proclaiming their product to be "the music of the true elite," they certainly didn't pump enough alloy into these 14 (!!!) redundant tracks. Boneheaded and barrel-scraping, Blodskam stumbles ass-first into the ever-growing pothole of supergroup mediocrity, though due to the "secret identity" issue, we'll never know how "super" this group truly is. Regardless of any speculative pedigree, Horde of Hel would be wise to either bolster their wares next time around, or simply turn their anti-human ethos inward and spare us the drudgery.
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