Horn of Valere are a Rhode Island concern who flex their kvltitude with a blurry metal-archives photo, are they/aren't they NSBM song titles (e.g. ...of Pure Blood), and a band name based on Robert Jordan novels.
In spite of being on Deathgasm which, notwithstanding Blaspherian, suffers from the chronic inability to release anything remotely resembling good music, Horn of Valere's Blood of the Heathen Ancients is an entry in USBM's back catalog worthy of your consideration.
HOV's read of BM is of the Darkthrone/Bathory variety with a strong punk undercurrent throughout. Heavy on melody, light on bass, full of galloping passages meant to evoke battles of yore or whatever, this record would sit comfortably alongside Transylvanian Hunger and maybe Black Thrash Attack.Listening to Blood of the Heathen Ancients a few years back, I remember the drumming in particular jumping out at me. They sound like they've got access to too many splash cymbals and decent hardware to be certified-authentic-BM but it works here, providing color to songs that might otherwise be tedious.
Speaking of tedious, several songs feature what sound like placeholders where the band meant to stick a guitar solo overdub but ran out of studio time. I'm not talking about the Burzum-hypnosis effect; these are just mid-tempo retreads of 4-5 power chords. If you're like me, you'll find this charming. Then, on track 5 when they do remember the solo, you get a completely woozy effort intended to build tension via the e-bow (I think) which has no place in metal unless you're While Heaven Wept.
Apparently back in 05 HOV was set to play a show with Inquisition and Bloodstorm in Philly but some rumors of NSBM connections (HOV opened for Grom at some point) led the venue to cancel. Reportedly, this was a total bummer. Does anyone know if that show was really gonna happen? Where the fuck was I? My last big night out was Outback Steakhouse and Moneyball with my old man.
Blood of the Heathen Ancients is a study in dichotomy, with moments of technical precision via bulls-eye drumming embedded in an overall unpolished punk M.O. (see feedback-squall-and-drumstick-countdown-intros). FULL SUPPORT.