Greek trad metal trio Black Soul Horde present an unvarnished take on trad metal to the World, creating a sound that harks back to the early to mid eighties with it’s simple, hummable melodies and easy charm.
If you’re of the right vintage, names like Brocas Helm and Cirith Ungol might keep making trips to the front of your brain whilst listening to the fast paced Into The Badlands, whilst the chugging drama of A Neverending Journey adds a bit of Teutonic sturm und drang to the mix; But this truly is everyman metal and so there are no real reasons why anyone with a prediliction for over amplified guitars and busy bass drums wouldn’t absolutley lap this up, whatever their age. So get stuck in!
Vocalist Jim Kotsis has a pleasing, accessible tone to his voice that sometimes brings to mind Ozzy Osbourne‘s mid eighties albums; he clearly knows his limitations and sings within them, meaning that the listener is occasionally left wishing for a little more – Troops of the Damned, for instance, cries out for something a little more pyrotechnic in the vocal department but this is a small complaint in the greater scheme of things. Likewise guitarists Costas Papaspyrou and John Tsiakopoulos (who doubles up on bass on this recording) make for an economic pairing; solos (from the former) are kept taut and don’t overstay their welcome, serving the song at all times. Indeed only session drummer Vasilis Nanos really goes to town, with a consistently impressive display of skinbeating throughout.
If I’m painting a somewhat dour picture I apologise; Land of Demise is an eminently listenable, at times hugely enjoyable album. If you own at least one ‘battle vest’ it’s hard to see you not being stirred up at least a little by the likes of standout cut Soulships, for instance, with it’s early Maiden stylings and exciting instrumental interplay; but traditional metal is an increasingly competitive marketplace, especially in Europe, and, in this reviewer’s opinion at least, Black Soul Horde may find themselves having to up the ante a bit to gain a foothold in the hearts of headbangers everywhere.
Land of Demise is out now.