Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hordak-Padre

When trying to catch up on what's been released this year, it's never always a good idea to hit the random band link on Metal Archives unless you narrow the search some. Thanks to Metal Archives, however, I stumbled upon this gem for review, and one that will get me one step closer to being caught up on this year's album releases.

The Madrid, Spain band Hordak has been around for almost 14 years and has released four albums to date. Their general themes center around Celtic Paganism and Celtiberian (a cross of emigrated Celts and native Iberians) history with Pagan metal serving as a backdrop. Earlier this year, they released their fourth album in Padre, and while it may take time to get acclimated to the band, as they seemingly release an album every five years, the end results prove to be worth it, mostly.

Padre begins with "Ekleipsis - Devourer of Gods," and while it isn't a monumental start, it does start the album on the right foot. Things get diversified with "Soaring," as the acoustic guitar/flute intro really adds to Hordak's sound, complete with a guitar solo that is becoming a lost art in today's music.  The bridge between the two songs "Bloodline of the Wolves" is a good transition between the two while delivering on its own thanks to clean vocals from guest Wulfstan of Forefather. "Sol Sister" also features a solid guitar intro that leads into one of the better overall songs on the album, as things are fairly straightforward, including the vocals of Autumn. The instrumental track "Sol" is acoustic guitar with xylophone mixed in, and while it breaks the consistency of the tempo that is created, it also doesn't add much to the overall picture. "A Leader in Times of War" starts with an intro clip from the movie Spartacus, which leads into more of the sound that Hordak does fairly well. However, as the album goes along, the lack of tempo variety begins to show, and being able to tell the songs apart does become a challenge. What does work in Padre's favor is that the album is 50 minutes long, and only two songs have a running time over the six-minute mark, so consistency proves to be a double-edged sword here. If there is a highlight on the second half of the album, it is "Father Sun - Father Dragon," which features harsher vocals from Uruksoth (Gathering Crisis, CrystalMoors).

Hordak produces another solid album with Padre, though there are moments where you wonder which song you are listening to, given the consistent nature of the tempo of the album. An instrumental that is just simply there doesn't help too much, but overall musicianship on the album is actually above average. A solid album overall, but could have been better.

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