Review by JD on May 4, 2012.
Viking Metal has been creeping into my metallic heart for awhile now. Perhaps it is because of the 70% plus part of me that is Norwegian that has latched on to it and it wont let go. It is fast becoming one of my favorite metal genres and it all did start with Hammer Horde, the band that I am reviewing now.
I had reviewed Ohio’s Viking Metalheads, Hammer Horde on their first album ("Under The Mighty Oak" - 8.2 out of 10) and was very impressed. With the release of "Vinlander", I was excited when I saw it arrive for me to review. You know, I love the other band that most of this bands members come from (A Gruesome Find), but as this unit, they are in a class all by themselves over all others.
With eleven fully conceived tracks on this album, they seem to move and shape themselves. Songs like the galloping maelstrom of 'Oathkeeper' to the mammoth and thunderous pounding guitars on Riders Of Annihilation', Hammer Horde is clearly Viking Metal 101 in the University of Metaldom. A perfect example of how good this style has become in a short amount of time.
I am amazed. A sophomore album that is this good is a extreme rarity, yet Hammer Horde has eluded the jinx associated with second recording release to deliver something that is undeniable intelligent, shockingly imaginative, heavy as anything out there and above all - completely uncompromising in every facet of they craft. Can’t ask for anything more from any band out there, now can you? Fuck no!
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9.4 out of 10