Ashen Horde – Nine Plagues (Review)

Ashen HordeAshen Horde is a one man Black Metal band from the US. This is his second album.

The production on this release is quite satisfying; the guitars have a really nice darkened tone to them and the drums are solid and firm.

The songs themselves have a Black Metal base with added Thrash and Death Metal elements fused in. Thrashy Blackened Death Metal, although a bit of a mouthful, would do justice as a description I feel. Unlike a lot of Blackened Death Metal though, the emphasis is more on the Black Metal side, although this is up for debate of course.

The Death Metal aspect of the band lends the songs a forceful muscularity that a purely Black Metal band would probably lack, and in some ways the album sounds like a Death Metal band covering Black Metal songs, musically at least. The brain behind the band can clearly play though, and there’s some quite technical messing about, (itself a technical term…), here and there.

Vocally we get curious snarls that seem half-spoken and half-spewed. I can’t help but wonder how much better they would be if they had more of a traditionally screamed delivery though, but this is a minor quibble; they do the job.

Featuring decent blasting, enough complexity to satisfy and songs that grow over time, this is one to settle into and take your time with.

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