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elitist - 83%

Olmomaster, October 31st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2012, CD, Grom Records

Hordes of Decay from Greece is a quite new band though it consists of members with some experience in black metal. The band was formed by members of Ravencult and Profane Prayer in 2009, it consists of five members and "The Kings will be Ready" is their first release. About a month ago I received the recent full length album by their label, Grom records, which appears to believe a lot in Hordes of Decay’s potential. In my opinion that isn’t happening without a reason as on one hand the band’s members show that they are good musicians and on the other hand their music is quite good and can get listeners across extreme metal, not only black.

The album begins with a bizarre intro which is followed by eight equally bizarre but interesting tracks, of thirty eight minutes of total duration. For sure, their music can’t be described with one or two words as also it can’t be classified in black metal. More specifically, Hordes of Decay combine their black metal influences with many death metal and several thrash elements. Their riff are quite interesting, with many changes, you will find elements from Satyricon, French sound, in some parts the paranoia of Dodheimsgard, speed thrash riffs, several death riffs and passages to rhythmic parts like Pantera. Which makes the difference is that all those different elements are combined to each other very nicely. The guitars are those which dominate and lead in the compositions. Their sound is clean and their performance is very good. The bass can’t be heard clearly but it fills the sound well. Very good job has been done also concerning the drums with interesting lines and variety in their playing, they assist and complete the very good guitars.

The vocals are dirty, heavy, somewhere in the middle of black and death vocals that depending on the part, they become more black or death. The production is clean and bassy and in combination with the very good mix, it puts out a sound very tight and massive, exactly the kind is needed so as to highlight the compositions. The lyrics are written in English and maybe they are the weak point of the album. Full of hatred, they express the bands repulsion to Christianity, to Christians while they praise darkness and “the other side” as they say. I believe that they are the weak point of the album because they are quite simplistic offering very few to the listener – reader.

Hordes of Decay don’t rush to release their material ("The Kings will be Ready" album was released three years after the band’s creation) so they work their ideas much and also they work with each other in order to give a good result. By their first release it appears that they have a lot to offer to extreme sound. Generally the album is very good and it will surely gain fans by the whole spectrum of extreme sound. For sure, if you spend your money on this album, you won’t regret it.

A possibly great band limited by their influences. - 70%

ConorFynes, November 18th, 2012

With its stark landscapes and rich cultural history, Greece is a remarkably fertile land for black metal. First forming ranks in 2009, Hordes of Decay first contributed to this growing legacy of Hellenic black at the dawn of 2012, with “The Kings will be Ready”. Charged with a professional sense of production and penchant for speed, it’s a wonder why these guys didn’t receive more publicity than they did. Regardless, this debut has some great energy to it, and stands a sure foot above most of the typical basement-dwelling ‘kvlt’ acts that saturate the genre. It’s a formula that’s been done before, but sharp performance skills and a few great riffs hold it all together.

Hordes of Decay fall somewhere between the blackened thrash of Absu, and the more traditional black metal riffings of Mayhem. Although the tritonic ‘evil’ chord progressions are rehashed here rom countless other genre projects, Hordes of Decay fuel this with a greater sense of technical precision and studio clarity. The production is crisp, but the riffs and performance are something you would more often find with a lo-fi recording standard. The guitarists (credited here as THC and J.P) deliver a refined sound to the familiar riff formulas. Drummer Maelstrom focuses on busy fills and blastbeats, and the vocals of The Saint revolve around a traditional snarl. Hordes of Decay do not distinguish themselves for their stylistic merit. Instead, it’s the way they bring these fatigued clichés back to life that makes the album work.

The production on “The Kings will be Ready” is well-mixed and crisp. It’s a little too cleancut for my tastes, but the focus on clarity underlines how tight they are as a band. In particular, Maelstrom’s drumwork is phenomenal. Even when the guitar riffs end up feeling too generic, the drums are there to maintain the momentum and fury. Although The Saint’s vocals offer little innovation to the black metal canon, his delivery is more articulate than most. Even the bass- an element often left out of black metal altogether- is given moments to shine, although thanks in large part to the intensity of the drumming, the bass contributions are usually kept subtle. “The Kings will be Ready” generally enjoys a strong (albeit derivative) style of songwriting, although by the end of the record, there is the definite sense of the tracks blurring together. The title track is the big winner here, rising above the rest with a dynamic angle on their blackened thrash hybrid, culminating in a anomalously melodic passage that recalls Opeth.

Hordes of Decay’s greatest strength is their musicianship, and this is what makes “The Kings will be Ready” work as an album. With some of the more impressive drumwork I’ve heard in a while and a clear production, Hordes of Decay’s thrash elements are incorporated very well into what would otherwise be a painfully generic black metal record. Although it’s clear Hordes of Decay mean to pay homage to some of their influences through their oft-traditional riffs, the derivative and blend-together songwriting holds the band back. It’s a remarkably impressive album execution-wise however, and considering there are black metal bands out there that have succeeded with much less, these guys are worth a listen.