For what I have known of the Hordes history this is the departure from the Hordes that was and the more structured Hordes that exists now. The newer iterations feature more in your face riffing and less of the meandering drones and avant free formness. Recorded in the winter of 2013, and released in 2015 this disk is 3 years old now. Hordes not only have left this drummer behind but have now moved through to having Todd, from The Jackpine Snag, as their current drummer. Here are my ramblings on this 3 year old disc.
The CD was released in 2015 on a digipack, featuring a variety of line drawings in a grey black wash. Some look to be anatomical drawings, while others are, for sure, Guitarist Alex Hudson’s work. Recorded at Troudoudor Studios in Lansing, the sound is thick and well mixed. Right in your face from the get!
The first track “Cold War Echo” is the perfect example of what this album is all about – riffage and pounding drums with raspy throated screams. The thick chords stomp and build, hints of noise are always creeping out the seams and the corners. At about 2.5 minutes in the track reaches, what I feel is, classic Hordes status. The riff slows to a crawl and the bass keeps the rhythm in line while the drums plod behind. This doesn’t last long before that riffage jumps right back in, bringing the close of this track.
The second song features a slow building stomper titled “Eyes Dulled Blind.” The riff leads the song, a half crawl stomp fest, with vocals distant in the mix. At 6 minutes this is the longest track on the album, revolving around a fast and a slow riff. To close the track down Hordes slowed the temp to a half crawl. This is where the real guitar work shines. I love the textures that feel so prominent here. Once the riff slows the bass and drums lock in, and this gives room for the guitar to space out. A perfect wrap for that song.
By far my favorite riff from this album is the opener from “Summer”. Again, the spaced out guitar work brings the track to an open. The drums and bass jump to life not long after, and then the song is rolling. The guitar work throughout this track is super satisfying. This is the Hordes that I love.
I know I was just writing about how my favorite riff was in the last song, but the first true head banger on this disc is “Life Chaser.” When the riff really comes who can help but give that subtle head bang? Even as I write this I caught Nibiinabekwe banging her head in just that ever slow nod, reaffirming my thoughts. This is the heaviest moments of the album.
The closer track, “Fall,” again brings to the forefront the anger that is so present in this iteration of Hordes. The riffs stomp, the vocals holler, it’s heavy as shit. I dig it! The end of this track, and the close of the album, again slows the tempo to a crawl and gives the guitars room to build that classic wall of Hordes texture.
It has been interesting watching the journey that Hordes has taken, and this album is just one blip on the timeline. At the time of this writing it looks like they had just released a new 7″ split on Silver Maple Kill Records, I look forward to getting a copy of that!