Black Thorn Halo – ‘The Horde’   2 comments

Formed in 2010, Black Thorn Halo hail from Austin, Texas. (With the exception of Rafa, bassist, from Costa Rica). Two albums in, the line-up changed, adding a second guitarist, as well as Rafa replacing Jack, making them a 5 piece.

From the latter end of 2017, BTH’s sound evolved into one similar to Priest or Kreator. Several live gigs ensued. Following this, their current album, ‘The Horde’, was produced. The band feels that this reflects their aimed destination, far more effectively. They summarise it as being simultaneously heavy, thrashy and melodic, with nods to Testament and Slayer, yet containing their own up-to-date signature.

The Rising – Slightly unusual build-up to the intro, but then getting straight into a classically new wave melodic thrash sound and it’s very listenable. Enlivening from the start, with a clearly catchy thread. I’d say they’ve achieved their aim of combining thrash, heaviness and melody, equally. It’s a good sound. Quite a big speed element to it, this is the sound of a capable, well-placed band, with stacks of passion. Great sharp, definitive ending.

Kill The Pain – Awesome drum roll intro and it’s very Testament-esque. ‘Days Of Darkness’ fans will dig this. Right into the flow. All the right ingredients. A real mosh fest number. Well handled riffs, practiced vocals, just the right side of heavy thrash. Some proper riffage going on there, with heaps of melody and even a hint of Vai-esque territory, amongst the thrash. Liking the catchy ‘KTP’ chorus and its rhythm. Not a note out of place or a beat missed anywhere.

The Horde – Banging, acute intro, setting the scene immediately. Some strategically arranged higher riff pitches, adding an extra edge, enhanced even further by the gorgeously performed vibrato. There’s a notable emphasis on space here, which just adds to their signature, showing real awareness of how, when and where to let a song breathe. Again, it’s very Testament-esque and very likeable.

Into The Unknown (On The Razor’s Edge) – Another banging intro, going straight to town. It’s got a really comforting heaviness and capability to it, just chilling you out instantly. Great riff delivery, again, utilising the vibrato just sparsely enough to make it stand out. Even throwing in a hint of wah, with the same approach. Cleverly structured and coming to a well integrated end. It’s the sound of safe metallic hands.

The Swarming – Crushing, theatrical intro, sparking visions of Valhalla. Right down to business, with the speed and power angles, whilst keeping it heavy and never losing the thrash edge. Very metal lyrics, plausibly conveyed. Always retaining the hardened side of the thrash vibe, but still not neglecting the melody. Effectively vocalised, it’s liable to stay with you.

Wargasm – Bang! Thunder and lightning intro, covering the earth in darkness. Carefully arranged, particularly in terms of pitch. Slight ‘Twilight Of The Thunder Gods’ essence to this. It’s strong, it’s a decent length and the ending’s aptly mysterious and memorable.

Cenote Sacred – Once more, it blasts into life, throwing down a Kyrbgrinder-esque tone. Real heaviness, emphasising the steel. They really go to town on this one. Immense riffing centres and grounds the song, feeding its heavy thrumming feel, further. Yet again, it’s a mosh fest, bringing everything colliding to a rock hard halt at the close, impressing the addictive quality, more.

Dare You To Live – Wow! That’s some electrifying intro! Loving this unmistakable metal fest, right from the off. Bowling along, on the thrashiest vibe. You can’t help but love it. A good closer, the catchiness is ratcheted up, as the riffs and the rhythm bring it to life. Slowing things down for that beautifully melodic mid-section, before heating things up and picking up the pace again, with sheer metallic force. Coming to a crackling crescendo, with a concrete slab of an ending.

Overall – Magnificent. No two ways about it. ‘TH’ has gone down a storm and it’s sure to rock your metal senses to the ground. Faultless, driven and perfected throughout. This is one mightily metallic album and it’s hugely impressive.

10/10 **********

For fans of Testament, Wreck-Defy, Steve Vai, Kyrbgrinder, Boltthrower, Amon Amarth, Sabaton.

Posted April 27, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Black Thorn Halo – ‘The Horde’

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  1. Black Thorn Halo says Thank you so much Jenny for the 10/10 score & killer review please send us an address so we can send you a shirt and sticker.
    Best regards
    Rafael. \,,/

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