Genre : CeltIberian Pagan Metal
Website : Facebook,
paganhordak.net (under construction)
Location : Spain
Release title : Under The Sign Of The Wilderness
Release type : Full-length CD
Release year : 2012
Label : Independent
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3. Spreading The Firewings
4. Under The Sign Of The Wilderness
6. Towards The Cold Eternity
7. The Song Of The Distant Waves
8. The Rising Of The Warhammers
9. We Are The New Power To Rise
10. Lugar Entre Montañas
Spanish Pagan Metallers Hordak are a Pagan Horde indeed! Known for their skilful blending of Celtic Folk and vicious, battle-fuelled Pagan/Black Metal, Hordak have truly left an impression on Vile the Ent - their melodic and arranging prowess is masterful. "Under The Sign Of The Wilderness" is their third record, and its more basic, repetitive Metal approach has somewhat thrown me for a loop, it was not what I was expecting given the sophisticated Folk melodies weaved into their previous works. But that's okay, upon additional listens I have perceived a more subtle Folk interweaving into these more straight-ahead, full-speed Blackened Heavy Metal anthems - again the mark of Hordak's unique CeltIberian (!) Metal appears to be the seal of this great, unusual 4-piece.
The opus begins with a wonderful acoustic guitar/flute intro, and then the sound of horse's hooves are heard hurtling by, ridden no doubt by chain-mailed Dark Ages warriors. A furious Pagan Mediterranean Metal assault then ensues, and this Earthly tale of conflict, battle, hopes, betrayal, and pride is initiated. Hordak continue to impress with both their Metallic fortitude and their illustrious acoustic Folk skills, interspersing the Metal pummeling with hypnotic, atmosphere-laden Iberian guitar and flute. Yet another new addition to the Hordak approach on this new release is the introduction of a decidedly classic Heavy Metal sensibility, resulting in gargantuan riffs that harken back to the classic era of Judas Priest's "Screaming For Vengeance"! "μόνολίθος" (Monoliths) certainly brings down the Heavy Metal house with one of the heaviest slabs of classic HM riffola since the good ol' days of Priest and the NWOBHM! Effortlessly Hordak segues into seriously evil Blackened Folk Metal and then back to the 80's before you even know it! Honestly, they appear to be a band who is capable of anything.
Title track "Under The Sign Of The Wilderness" is a similarly invincible performance, bludgeoning and forging on through the middle of a Pagan forest battleground, resulting in the traditional impaled riders on a barrier of sharpened tree boughs..."Lugar Entre Montañas" closes the proceedings with a highly-accomplished acoustic guitar/harp duet, and in the end we hear the surviving warriors travelling back home on their horses, under a full moon and the ever-near howling of the wolves. The fact is, my initial confusion given the new approach Hordak have taken with "Under The Sign Of The Wilderness" is a good sign, as I can see that it will be an album that stands the test of time, and will one day be regarded as one of the true headbangers in the Hordak discography, a real balls-out barnstormer of a Metal album, complete with an authentic understanding of its Heavy Metal roots. Speed, ferocity, rawness, and simplicity are often the best way to go when the mood strikes, and this was Hordak's mood, so they must be commended for going for it full-on! One of the very best Pagan Metal bands active today, it is time for all those who enjoy this unique Metal subgenre to take note!!! Hail Hordak Under The Sign Of The Wilderness!
- Vile Ent