Feb 012012

An e-mail from NCS reader Black Shuck delivered two nice pieces of news on Sunday concerning two Illinois bands we’ve featured here in the past — The Horde and Awaking Leviathan.

Some dude took us to task in a recent comment for false advertising  —  the name of the site is NO CLEAN SINGING, but we had reviewed an album that did that clean singing like half of the time. I can see why that would be confusing, but the music in this post won’t confuse anyone. Not only is there no clean singing, there’s nothing clean about the music in any respect.


This band’s 2011 album, Thy Blackened Reign, is a hell-ripping cavalcade of Viking black thrash. Thematically, it takes its cues from Norse mythology, and musically it swings some mighty sharp-edged battle-axes. Speed metal and thrash are effectively fused together with elements of death metal and black metal. It delivers a cathartic, fist-pumping experience.

A couple of days ago, the band released a music video for the song “Odin’s Blood”. In someone else’s hands, the gang shouts of the song title and the first-pumping could have become cheesy, but these dudes have such authenticity and so much conviction for what they’re doing that they succeed. And holy shit . . . those riffs! Watch it after the jump.



This Illinois band, which includes some membership overlap with both The Horde and the excellent A Hill To Die Upon, was one of two featured in a guest column by Black Shuck in December (here). At that time, they had released a five-song EP for free download on Bandcamp. To quote an excerpt from Black Shuck’s article:

“[T]heir music does not fit neatly into any one genre. However, it is . . . melodic . . . (although still containing a tinge of dark atmosphere), catchy as hell, and varied in approach, ranging from the straightforward, simple assaults of “Wind Beneath Our Skin” and “We Vanish in This Breath” to the quick, upbeat riffing of “Leviathan Speaks.” Plenty of tremolo picking here, enough to make me consider classifying them as melodic black metal.”

Over the weekend, the band released a new song, which is also available for streaming on Bandcamp (here). It’s called “Children of Polaris”. From the first second, the song erupts in a fireball of blasting drums and cutting tremolo riffs. Melodic black metal is a good description of the music. It’s blistering and acidic and fast. Good stuff.


  1. I get singing about Odin or his beard….but his blood? Are they Viking vampires??

    Holy shit, I just created Twilight For Beardos!

    They thrive on PBR and Asgardian blood…
    And their weakness is….WOMEN! Ahhhhhh! Bizarre undergarments and confusing sex talk!

    (I’m just playing, beardos are great people, I would guess.)

  2. So do the skins of Viking vampires turn really, really dull when under sunlight?

    I dunno, but I think The Horde could become very good friends with Alestorm, then both of ’em can go pillage and plunder coastlines and all that medieval pirating schizz.

  3. It saddens me that now when anyone says “vampire” we immediately think of Twilight. I think the Horde and Alestorm should pillage the town that Twilight. I don’t care if it’s fictional, THEY’LL FIND A WAY.

  4. The only bad thing about Let the Right One In is that, for a Swedish film, there was a distinct lack of good Swedish metal. Other than that – second only to Nosferatu in my book. The American version – Let Me In – was pretty good, too.

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