Blade of Horus is a murderously deranged five-headed cybernetic organism that first achieved sentience (and a taste for human flesh) in Sydney, Australia. It began its slaughtering campaign for superiority with a substantial and accurately titled 2016 EP named Monumental Massacre. Notwithstanding the ferocity of that opening assault, a few huddled enclaves of shivering humanity survived, and so Blade of Horus is returning to finish the job, with an album named Obliteration.
The new album is also accurately titled, as anyone who heard its first single already knows. That track, “Cyber Demon“, featured guest appearances by drummer Dave Haley (Psycroptic) and vocalist Duncan Bentley (Vulvodynia). It also revealed that Blade of Horus have sharpened their blades, stoked the fires of their lust for destruction, and managed to become even more strategically-minded in the deployment of their impressive technical skills since Monumental Massacre. As further evidence of these advances before Lacerated Enemy Records discharges the whole thing on December 15th, we present the album’s jaw-dropping title track.
Referring to Blade of Horus as a biotech organism isn’t intended as merely a metaphorical reference. The quartet of musicians — guitarists Ivan Ellis and James Buckman, drummer Sebastian Su, and bassist Jordan Watts — do seem to have achieved a seamless union of man and mechanism, capable of translating thought into machine operation with great precision and eye-popping speed. But apparently the union has caused them to lose their minds and to become especially violent. Vocalist Nathan Lambeth also sounds like a deranged serial killer, though perhaps he was born that way.
As a technical death metal band, Blade of Horus take a back seat to no one when it comes to whipping up a technically mind-blowing typhoon of sound. But it bears repeating that notwithstanding all the lunatic instrumental extravagance, their music is also particularly ferocious and heavy-grooved, and (perhaps unexpectedly) it’s also damned catchy.
And so “Obliteration” (the song) proves to be murderous and brutally cruel as well as feverish and machine-precise. It displays a destabilizing start-stop pattern of sound through bursts of blasting (and other drum acrobatics) enmeshed with frenzies of insectile fretwork and a vocal cornucopia of rapid-fire barking, howling, squealing, gurgling and prolonged screaming. Indulging their more feral destructive impulses, the band also mix in doses of slamming pulverization, a brutish hammering breakdown, and a sequence of eminently headbang-able grooves laced with eerie shrieking and wailing melodies. You’ll also encounter grand chords and eruptions of blaring dissonance (as well as a few snippets of electronica).
That description may sound as if the music is mentally destabilizing to hear (and it sort of is), but the band’s rapid tactical changes are focused and well-integrated; as mentioned, they manage to make this craziness into a thrill-ride that’s also catchy.
Obliteration was recorded and edited by the band’s James Buckman, with the drums recorded by Michael Newton at Michael Newton Studios, and it was mixed and mastered by none other than Stefano Morabito at 16th Cellar Studio in Rome. It features artwork by Mark Cooper, and it’s available for pre-order now, on CD, in various merch bundles, and digitally.
And now, check out “Obliteration”, as well as that debut single “Cyber Demon” in case you missed it.
1. God Slayer
2. God Slayer pt.II Fall Of The Ancients
5. Embrace The Abyss
6. Send Forth All Legions
8. Cyber Demon (Bonus Track)