HORDE OF HEL, Blodskam  (2009, Moribund)

The skull:
Nearly “too arty,” sayeth the Council, although plain and unadorned enough that it squeaks by. “Too arty,” you ask? Only in its monotony and minimalism, rendered in a couple shades of gray with some black speckled around the perimeter. It’s haunting and bleak enough, and appropriate for what is a very orthodox black metal sound, but geez, together with the wholly unoriginal stock font of the band name cruising over its cranium, this is one lazy artwork concept. So lazy they forgot the second “L” in HELL.

The music:
At times lumbering and doom-laden, at times speedy, usually reeling off discordant riffs and always spitting out vocals from a bile-clogged throat, this is not terrible, but it’s entirely unoriginal. It sometimes resembles various Gorgoroth eras, or maybe early Dodheimsgard, but without any of the spark and danger. Adequately morbid and remarkably twisted, but still, I’m not feeling it. At first rumored to be a Marduk side project, it’s since come to light that Horde Of Hel is members of In Battle, Odhinn, and Valkyria. If that’s cause for celebration where you live, hey, go for it.
— Friar Wagner