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'Ashes Of The Empyrean'
(Metal Swarm Productions)

jools green

Jools Green

Promethean Horde

'Ashes Of The Empyrean' is the debut full length from Floridian black Metallers Promethean Horde who were originally formed as a studio project in 1999 by their main vocalist Nickulus and it follows their 2009 five track EP 'Bring Forth The Fires'.

The Tampa quintet play an interesting, intense and somewhat unusual brand of black Metal, certainly compared to the European style with at times a folk/pagan infusion as well as an emerging death Metal edge.

Across the release there is a strong profile from the bass and the drum work is superb also, varied and pattern rich, bringing a lot to the overall sound which often achieves a fast furious pace yet still maintaining a melodic edge that touches on technical in places giving a very innovative and experimental feel, almost to the point of progressive at times.

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The range of vocals are covered by three band members so there is a good variety, the harsh vocals are superb, an evil vitriolic hiss and a deeper growl which were superb across the release and I liked immensely. There are also some cleans but I am historically not much of fan of cleans and therefore difficult to please on this front.

The album consists of eleven tracks that clock up a generous hour of listening, opening with 'Artisan Of Silence' with a great latter part solo, followed by the superb 'Perish In The Elements'.

'Spirit Of The Water' has a good opening and a great repeat of intense blackened riffing, this track had the first of the cleans towards the close, here they were okay and not too abundantly applied. 'Ördögszereto' was another favourite with me, it has good direction change with a reminiscence of Immortal to the sound at times.

Promethean Horde

'Unknown Corpses' has some really great bass lines but here the cleans were just a bit too "epic" for my taste however on 'Winter Cold Within Your Soul' they were within my tolerances and I actually quite liked them. I love the intensity and drive to 'Dark Black Catacomb' which also boasts a guest guitar solo by Kevin Quirion while 'Bring Forth The Fires' has a strong folk edge, a good repeat riff and great harsh vocal blend towards the later part along with a built in intensity.

'Voices Visions' takes off at a galloping pace alongside great drum work and vitriolic vocals, a midway drop-away and quite good cleans that have an almost gothic quality succeeded by a solo before the pace picks up again to the close.

'Ashes Of The Empyrean' has a classically styled blackened opener, great repeat riff and a punchy quality to the sound, a good use of tempo and direction change from the midway point, essential on a track of over seven minutes duration. The intensity is broken by reflective drop-away that's well punctuated with drums.

Ending on another monster track, the eight minute 'Divinity By Conquest' with an intense opener which expends into a folk influenced feel particularly as the cleans hit, but here they were pretty good, once again great drums and a great intense blackened feel to the second half and I loved the closing gut wrenching screams.

'Ashes Of The Empyrean' was recorded, mixed and produced at Metal Swarm Productions by Nickulus and the superb album art is by Kris Verwimp. This release demonstrates a great deal of enthusiasm, capability and potential.

I am sure Promethean Horde will continue to sharpen and polish their sound on subsequent releases, although overall this makes a pretty decent listen.

Pysical CD or MP3 files at

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