Friday, February 3, 2012

Horde Thor - Roots

Another new Viking metal release from an unexpected place.

Formed in 2002, it took five years before this Colombian outfit released their first recorded demo. They now have one full length album, and last year they released their new EP "Roots".

This group is labeled in the Metal Archives as folk Viking metal, and I think that's an acceptable classification. There is no real presence of folk instrumentation to be found on this record, but they have the kind of bouncy, drunken, wild party feel of many Scandinavian folk metal groups. There are some occasional softer interludes, clean "drunken chorus" singing, and odd spoken lyrics sprinkled throughout the record, in addition to the instrumental intro. Mostly, though, the music here is very energetic and exuberant, as befits songs about trolls and battles and Viking gods.

The sound quality is good, very clear and easy to listen to without sounding too overproduced. The riffs are catchy and fun, if somewhat familiar sounding. The vocals are largely shouted, but they also feature death growls that come across in a similar fashion to the meatier sounding Viking metal groups like Svartsot. "Meaty" is actually a pretty good word to describe this EP in general. The bass is surprisingly prominent in the mix, and the vocalist's register is generally lower-than-average for a Viking metal group. This gives them a heavier sound than many Viking metal bands. It does cost them in the cold harshness department, though. This conjures very few images of Viking warriors striking out across the freezing northern wastes to do glorious battle. Rather, it brings to mind their victory celebration back home in a tavern as they drunkenly recount their exploits before the warmth of a roaring fire.

All in all, this is one of those bands that serves to blur the line between being Viking metal and folk metal. I'm actually inclined to come down a little more folk side in this instance, but not strongly enough to make a big issue out of it. Every one of the five actual songs on this EP is enjoyable, but my personal favorite is the closing bonus track, "Glorious Days in the Mountains".

Grade: B+
Fun, energetic, and enjoyable.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Patrick!
    This is Andres (Throvald), drummer for Horde Thor.
    THANK YOU so much for the review! We have a new EP available now. It is called Fire, and together with the Roots EP it makes our second album Roots & Fire.
    Hails! Stay Horde!