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Mar 26

Album Review: Ashen Horde – Sanguinum Vindicta

Ashen Horde - Sanguinum Vindicta

Ashen Horde [USA]
Sanguinum Vindicta
2014
Full Length
Mandol Records
Black Metal

Out of USA comes yet another blistering black metal band Ashen Horde, with their debut full length album Sanguinum Vindicta. One-man black metal bands have always fascinated me in the ways they are able to create destructive soundscapes, especially with bands such as Benighted in Sodom even exploring a whole range of sounds with just one person behind the band.

Ashen Horde immediately hits the listener fast and furious with opener Midwinter’s Lust, and one is immediately reminded of Marduk‘s Panzer Division Marduk-era, with the speed and intensity that is displayed by band mastermind, Trevor Portz. The heavily trem-picked and double-pedal-fuelled track creates an apocalyptic soundscape, and the belligerent sound of Ashen Horde easily leaves a trail of dead bodies in its wake.

However, the progressive nature of the band shows up soon enough. Just as one expects Sanguinum Vindicta to be a mindless, aggressive, high-octane album, the band takes things a notch slower on Baited Breath, but instead throws in a pinch of dissonance into their playing, not unlike French bands such as Deathspell Omega or even the later, experimental works of Mayhem. The intensity is not reduced as all, as the dissonance and the unpredictability on Sanguinum Vindicta keeps the listener on the edge at all times, and just as one expects the band to slow things down even further, Ashen Horde throws a curveball and goes blazing ahead in full speed.

Ashen Horde‘s debut has been one that is extremely enjoyable and unique in days where new releases are mostly rehashes of the old sound, with the whole myriad of sounds that the band has incorporated into the album. Sanguinum Vindicta is probably one of the more unique albums that I have encountered thus far in the year, proving once again what the twisted mind of a single individual is capable of producing.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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