Black Soul Horde - Land of Demise
Self released
Heavy Metal
8 songs (35'03")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

Greek Black Soul Horde has more menace in its moniker than in its music. This is not to say that their second full-length Land of Demise lacks quality, bite or enjoyment while listening to it. Quite the contrary, but don’t expect the band to stick to their name literally and bare their inner darkness. Instead, not overburdened with unusual, out of left field, ideas, the Greeks steer their metal somewhere b/t classic old school and American power metal of the past two decades.

Black Soul Horde gets it going from the very beginning and pretty much doesn’t stop. Opening riff of Stone Giants just breathes heavy metal, the song continues galloping away, guitar leads have additional vignettes in them, and the chorus is as epic as it gets. Energetic riffing continues throughout, while the band loves to indulge in muscular (Into the Badlands) or harmonized (Soulships) leads, and positions machine gun chord chopping next to anthemic moments (Troops of the Damned, Iron Will). These songs are like a brick building, all pieces even and similar, but laid together solidly and on familiar reliable foundation. Even in Soulships, where things get a little mystical with opening minute worth of arpeggios, and you may think a doomy slower change of tempo is coming, it doesn’t ... and things fall into the same galloping style. Fans of Iced Earth should be jumping aboard here, as well as in A Neverending Journey or The Frail and the Weak, the latter is nothing like its title, but instead having a powerful vibrating tremolo pulse.

Vocally Black Soul Horde knows how to come up with the right hook in the chorus (Into the Badlands), and has some vocal duality and variation (Lord of All Darkness), but most of the time the vocals are higher in tone, are a little drawn out and floating above the music. This higher vocal pitch by Jim Kotsis brings out comparisons with Jag Panzer in Stone Giants or A Neverending Journey. A part Iced Earth, a part Jag Panzer and a little bit of Battleroar for the Greek epic approach, if you are a straight up, no frills metal fan you would be on board with Land of Demise from note one.

The album can be listened to in one single sitting, and Black Soul Horde made a perfect decision for all songs to be around 4 min length not to overstay or drag. This is like Hors D'oeuvres, to be eaten in one quick bite. Makes for a bit of difficulty then to pick killing songs, since you will like it or dismiss it in one big fell swoop, it is all pretty much in a single vein.

Killing Songs :
Stone Giants, Into the Badlands, The Frail and the Weak
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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