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Review: Feral Horde - Progressive Downfall
Feral Horde
Progressive Downfall

Label: Independent
Year released: 2003
Duration: 41:44
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: November 15, 2003
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (5 Votes)

After hearing Feral Horde's demo from last year, I wasn't quite prepared for the exponential increase in quality on this full length, self-released CD. Far from being a muddy, chaotic mess like the demo, and belying its fully independant nature, this 9-track disc is a tour-de-force of original, creative black metal with zero pretention and plenty of promise for future endeavours.

After a brief acoustic intro piece, the title track is a vicious kick in the head - melodic, searing tremolo riffs intersperse with more traditional chord- based black metal riffing driven by simple, effective drumming and vocals alternating between a pained shriek and a bellowing death-growl, with occasional moments of moaned semi-spoken oratories.

The album's content pretty much evolves from this base - each song is based around this formula, but it never becomes stale - rather, every song presents a new, fresh twist on the band's unique approach. The guitars certainly take centre-stage in the production, pushed right to the front and shoving their excellence in your face at every opportunity. The bass is also quite prominent, while the drums are just audible enough to provide the requisite rhythmic push and the vocals hover somewhere in between. The guitarists get to show off during the third track "Defrocked", which is a ripping 6:27 instrumental, then "Vagabond" inflicts further damage with a punishing Dissection- ish main riff. In fact, early Dissection is a very prominent influence here, the songs sharing a similar sense of movement. "Sanity's Mask" is another killer epic, which truly hits its stride at the 4:30 mark with a surging push of tremolo riffs, forceful vocal rasps and evolution into a surging conclusion with spoken vocals groaned over a jaw-dropping series of melodic permutations. Following this is another instrumental, this time an ambient, acoustic piece, then the true highlight of the album - "Tool Of Damnation". This reworked demo song really benefits from the improved mix and clarity of instruments, shoving it's deranged Abigor-ish main riff to the forefront while Ivan goes berserk behind the mic. Then the closing song "Blessed In Sin" - with lyrics in the band's native Croatian language - wraps up proceedings and leaves you drooling for more. The outro then consists of some backwards acoustic guitar picking, winding down the album on a low-key note.

Currently this is only available directly from the band, but it's most definitely worth the effort. Any fan of melodic, stark black metal owes it to themself to check this one out.

More about Feral Horde...
Review: Feral Horde (Demo) (reviewed by Scott Murray)
Review: Progressive Downfall (reviewed by Nemanja Mandic)
Review: Progressive Downfall (Demo version) (reviewed by Scott Murray)
Interview with Ivan Trdina (vocals) on August 10, 2003 (Interviewed by Scott Murray)
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