Hordearii – Styx

As a debut release this Dutch outfit Hordearii has certainly pushed the envelope in terms of ambition which possibly hints at the roots of their band name which is a term associated with gladiators that fought for their freedom, as this musical endeavour equally strives to escape the shackles of what one would designate as your typical thrash or death metal album.

There is an amalgamation of styles here though at the core of their song writing is indeed thrash and death as "Styx" begins with 'Run From The Path', which immediately has that air of something ominous. A short build up sequence leads into the main body of the song which is piercingly savage due to the guitar sound which is razoring. The songs mix of harsh and growled vocals is nothing new of course but what the band incorporates is groove fixated hooks with double kick infested patterns that run rampant through the song and this is only the opener.

'Limbo' follows a similar twisted, contorted path as the guitar work thrusts through a myriad of breaks with the drumming adding layers of hyper speed mania with sporadic blast waves creating a controlled chaotic aura which flows into 'Thousand Yard Stare' which has a violent riff opening and for some it will reek of Pantera due to its power riffing stature. The massive riff break and blast beat is cataclysmically effective and it is these textural adornments that make this album so engaging.

Skirting the fringes of various genres as 'Stronger Than All' gets song of the album for me. Its opening blasting sortie is clinically precise before settling into a neck snapping pace and double kick cavalcade with the barking vocals injecting venomous aggression as yet again a superb riff break is bolted into the track and accompanied by a swerving tempo change.

'Warzone' is an outright thrasher, its pounding riff is the perfect head smashing track right up until the teeth smashing riff break which runs rabid with drum fills. The heaviness and density of this tune is pulverising yet integrally melodic as more Pantera touches can be detected in places as the song diverts into a slower phase before switching for another scorching riff break.

That leaves only 'Trigger' to finish you off which yet again has a fine starting riff which has an almost break down structure momentarily with a metallic hardcore sheen to it, that you heard by acts like Merauder, All Out War etc; the result is sonic wreckage as the track pummels with wrathful vocals spat out frenziedly linking in to the destructive blast beat towards the finale of the song and ending this absolute brute of an album.[embed]

1. Run From The Path
2. Limbo
3. Thousand Yard Stare
4. Acceptable Intolerance
5. Stronger Than All
6. Styx
7. Warzone
8. Trigger

Self released
Reviewer: martinharris
Dec 22, 2018

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