Black Soul Horde
Horrors from the Void

At the risk of discrediting the review right from the get-go, I’m just gonna come right out and say this: I’m a Black Soul Horde fan. I fucking love these guys.

To my ears, last year’s Land of Demise was a sleeper pick for Traditional Metal album of the year, going toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow with giant releases from the likes of Eternal Champion, Megaton Sword, Spirit Adrift and an absolute onslaught of others in what was a ridiculously stacked year for the genre. But I’ve already mentioned all this, so I apologize for beating a dead horse. The thing is though, 2021 finds the band in a very similar situation they were last year, with the NWOTHM train barreling along with just as much momentum as before, and Black Soul Horde, criminally, still trying to break through the pack and get some more of the spotlight. Well raise your shield and get ready for impact, because these dudes are not pulling any punches on Horrors from the Void.

Given that it’s only been a year since their last release, it’s not surprising to find that the band hasn’t really changed up the formula at all since Land of Demise, but instead used their experience from the last record to tighten the screws and clean up any minor loose ends you could find on their last effort. The result: Horrors from the Void sounds excellent! Super clean guitars, nice, punch drums, and vocalist Jim Kotsis’ distinct voice sounds a crisp as ever. Land of Demise was by absolutely no means a chore of a listen, but Horrors is an absolute treat for the ears, taking Black Soul Horde’s upbeat brand of Heavy Metal and just making it that much more fun to listen to. This becomes especially clear during the album’s myriad of impressive guitar solos from lead axeman Costas Papaspyrou. You get a real good one about half-way through opening track “Beneath the Mountains of Madness,” combined with John Tsiakopoulos’ excellent, complimentary rhythm guitar work. And this thing is full of superb riffs – from the early HammerFall–inspired “Lair of the Wolf,” to the fantastic “Malediton of the Dead,” which combines galloping Maiden-esque gallops with more doomy, traditional Black Sabbath gloom, the Horde is here to take you on a rollicking ride inspired by tons of your favorite Heavy Metal artists through the years, along with their own unique brand of metallic mayhem.

A track like “Beware the Deep” really showcases the band at their best. A mysterious, slower start gives way to another of the band’s infectious riffs, followed of course by another of the band’s earworm choruses. After the solo is where the band really digs in though, with a great little bridge accented with an excellent “HEY! HEY! HEY!” sing-along you can’t help but shout along with pumped fists. If there’s any knock I could give the band, is that I want EVEN MORE of that. Speaking of knocks – the one criticism I kinda-sorta had for Land of Demise was its slight one-dimensionality. While I wouldn’t call this go-around a rollercoaster of tone and tempo, the band has at least added a little bit more variety within some individual songs, with the aforementioned “Beware the Deep” and “The Betrayal of the King” providing some brief breaks in what is otherwise a mostly full-speed-ahead attack. But at the end of the day, this is a band who knows who they are, and when the end product is this fun and inspired, who needs a ton of variety? Open the taps and let ‘er rip, boys!

A version is available with two bonus tracks – both of which are just more of the same kind of good fun you get on the rest of the album. I don’t know why they weren’t included on the full album other then, I guess maybe it wasn’t part of the album’s story arc? I dunno. ANYWAY, look, this may not be some big evolutionary step up for the band, but if it’s just some fun, melodic Heavy Metal you’re looking for, you can’t do much better than what Black Soul Horde are bringing to the table. Give this, and if you haven’t yet, their first two albums a go, and put a big ‘ol grin on your face. Great stuff once again.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
December 2nd, 2021

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