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Filthy, ritualistic old-school black metal - 85%

vorfeed, December 21st, 2007

This is the first full-length album from Warhorde, an American one-man band playing black/thrash metal.

The sound on this album is quite filthy. There's distorted guitar, distorted vocals, distant drums and lead guitar, the whole works. There's some bass buried somewhere in there, too, if the middle section of "Condemned to Sacrifice" is to be believed. It all sounds great to my ears, but if you like an overproduced, modern sound, this is definitely not the album for you.

For everybody else, the nasty, rusty sound will only add to the old-school atmosphere of the album. Warhorde plays in the old Venom/early Bathory tradition -- simple, stripped down black METAL, overlaid by blasphemous vocals and an occasional solo. The songwriting here shows major improvement over their "Blood Filth Chaos" demo: the songs here are longer and much more fully developed, without departing from the Warhorde formula of one or two repetitive, snarling riffs. The guitar work is also a lot more nimble and confident, especially during the fast parts, and the insane soloing (as on "The Sabbath Calls") is exceptional! The extreme minimalism of the title track also deserves mention. The first four minutes consists of variations on a single theme, which finally give way to a tremendously evil vocal/guitar section. Also notable is the end of "The Circle", which has one of the best uses of backwards-masking I've ever heard.

"Satanic Lust" is an excellent example of what can be achieved through minimalism and atmosphere rather than technicality. The repetitive nature of the riffs combine with the vocals to create a trancelike effect, one that makes each track seem eternal. On top of this, repeated lyrical themes ("the wolf unchained", "sacrifice", and of course Satan himself) forge the entire album into a unified whole. If you're looking for something headbangable that'll also focus the mind in a ritual sort of way, this album is a fine choice. Recommended, especially for fans of Venom, old Bathory, and Barbarian Wrath label-mates Megiddo (this record sounds a bit like ten thrashier versions of "Under the Pentagram")!

Standout tracks: "The Sabbath Calls", "Satanic Lust", "The Circle", "The Mark"

Review by vorfeed: