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'The Almighty Hoards Of The Undead'
(Razorback Recordings)

jools green

Jools Green

lurking evil

Debut full length from Spain's Lurking Evil, 'The Almighty Hoards Of The Undead' follows their 2012, six track EP 'Arrival Of The Tyrant' with twelve new tracks.

The decision to put out all new material rather than pad the previous EP out into a full length release as many bands do is a fact that impressed me.

Soundwise it is fundamentally mid tempo blackened thrash Metal but with, at times, a hint of punk with more of an old school approach to the blackened influences putting you in mind of the likes of Bathory, particularly the slightly dirty edge to the sound as well as the pace. But it's not as lengthy or longwinded, rather than the black and thrash style of American bands like Goatwhore or Skeletonwitch, the thrash edge of their sound instead shows some influences of Venom, Hellhammer and Kreator.

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Behind the sound, a barrage of attitude rich relentless riffing, is the duo consisting of Orlok, covering guitars bass and vocals, which he delivers with a protracted, harsh, vitriolic snarl of impressively blackened and broad reaching proportions and Nico on drum duties, whose efforts should in no way be underestimated as they are well applied without being overpowering.

The twelve tracks span a concise thirty eight minutes most tracks compactly coming in on or below the three minute mark but there are a few justifiably longer ones and the common lyrical themes revolve around the general topic of horror.

The opening instrumental intro, 'The Fog', builds nicely to raise your anticipation, which is amply rewarded by the arrival of 'Twins Of Evil' a quick paced, dirty, thrashy track to begin but midway takes a very blackened, slower change of direction returning to the quicker pace towards the close.

The majority of the tracks are all compact and to the point time-wise yet all pack a huge amount of tempo and direction change all with a guitar segment to add that little bit more to the mix and the result is both listenable and interesting, particularly the dirty and punky 'Minions' with its tempo drop preceding some great midpoint guitars, simple yet effective alongside the biting vocal snarls.

The three longer tracks, 'Nightmare' which has a catchy repeat riff that constantly reappears in chunks, 'The Dark Paths Of The Other Side' and 'Rites Of Deepest Horror' seem darker, probably because they have a longer opener and their build is more protracted, all with a slower pace particularly 'Rites Of Deepest Horror', the album monster at over six minutes, a blackened plodder with strong bass lines throughout and good closing guitar work.

The album also ends on an instrumental, 'Winds Of Solitude'. It's an odd yet fascinating track because it repeatedly builds and drops away, constantly tricking you into expecting more.

'The Almighty Hoards Of The Undead' is a thoughtfully produced offering, just enough to give a good finish but keeping it raw enough so as not to ruin the feel of the release. The overall result is aesthetically pleasing to the ear, helping to make it a great listen.

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