Released: 2011, StormSpell Records
Allegedly this band just split up in April 2014. That’s a shame because I just discovered them for myself and I was suitably impressed with their one and only album THY BLACKENED REIGN.
The first thing that caught my eye was the green and lack colour scheme on the album cover, many (most?) bands go with a red and black motif, but this album cover is gorgeous. The booklet is the usual high-end job by Stormspell with glossy paper, lyrics pictures making this an album you want to own a physical copy of. This American band of vikings comes from Iowa, not really a hotbed of Metal and is unfortunately connected to a popular masked mallcore act, which is a shame because The Horde is far superior to that other band in countless ways. I refer to these guys as vikings because lyrically there are many tales of war and death, frost and Odin and things northern. Musically however, they are not of the popular folk-Metal sub-genre, they are far more straight ahead thrash. In the fact the spine of the CD says ‘Raw And Brutal Viking Thrash Attack’ which sums it up nicely.
All the songs are pretty punishing, short and sweet they really get to the point without many extra bells and whistles. It is actually surprisingly heavy for the StormSpell Records label but they recognize quality when they hear it. T he Horde play a commendable modern Power/Thrash blend. I hear little bits of Three Inches opt Blood/Skeleton witch and bands like that, heavy, fast mean and ready to go for the jugular. THY BLACKENED REIGN is quite relentless it grinds along with a singular purpose of delivery some very high quality thrash. The individual performances are good, the vocals are rough and raw as well. There is nothing too complex or ambitious in terms of song-writing and arrangements but that is not the point hear, this horde have a mission to run you down, sonically speaking. This is certainly more raw than the wave of modern retro-thrash bands (Toxic Holocaust, Warbringer etc) that are on the scene.
THY BLACKENED REIGN will stand alone as one of those albums from a band that never made it for one reason or another. It is not because of lack of quality either. I'm pleased to have this solid album in my collection and if you are into well-done underground thrash and have to have it all, track this down!