Rating:
9.0
TenHornedBeast - Hunts & Wars
May 2010


01. Reaching For The Stars We Blind The Sky
02. Hilnaric
03. Father Of The Frosts
04. Ironborn
05. I Am The Spearhead
06. Seasons Of War
07. Hunts & Wars


From his throne in Country Duhram in North East England, Christopher Walton, the sole arbiter of the entity TenHornedBeast, and also of the perhaps better known Endvra, has overseen numerous exploits of aural intrigue and mystery and his latest work, the third outing on Cold Spring, marks a further step in the evolution of his sound.

As contrived as it may seem on paper Hunts & Wars itself is a sinister, war-themed journey through desolate, windswept landscapes. Such themes typically conjure images of intense battle and bloodshed but THB opts for a different perspective; of the prelude and the aftermath, deriving inspiration from writers Robert E. Howard and Lord Dunsany. Going further beyond Sunn O)))'s well known brand of contorted malevolence, THB delves even deeper into the abyss, concocting surrealistic drones, heavy bass and swirling ambient with the percussion playing a particularly prominent and unusually vital role, never more so than on "I Am The Spearhead" whose thunderous, reverberating beats, emulates, perhaps unintentionally, the sound of blood-fueled jeering amidst the surrounding walls of a coliseum. It's really quite spectacular. Another album highlight, "Ironborn" becomes frightfully distinctive with its alternating war horn and ritualistic drums painting a vivid picture of a monstrous army marching a cold, pilgrimage to battle. There's nothing human about this record. Perhaps wisely, Walton has separated the protracted songs with shorter interludes, allowing for a (slightly) more approachable voyage than the equally superb richness of The Sacred Truth.

What's truly impressive though is Walton's ability to inject a palpable sense of variety into each track whilst maintaining that eerie sense of nothingness and death. It must be difficult to play host to a form of music that generally alienates even the most hardy of extreme music fans. Whilst brutal, mindless metal rakes in the numbers, music based on minimalism and soundscapes rarely finds a decent footing (most continue to toil in obscurity), regardless of the quality or subject matter. In all likeliness Hunts & Wars will remain such a record, despite being at the top of its game.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 29.08.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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!J.O.O.E.! - 29.08.2010 at 22:16  
Zomg, awesome review.
Ozman - 29.08.2010 at 22:20  
Don't bump your own reviews hahahaha.

Great album sthis is indeed. But I find it a shame that the cover artwork isn't of the same standard as his previous two releases.
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2010 at 22:23  
Your best review since the one you wrote for Monoliths & Dimensions in my opinion.
!J.O.O.E.! - 29.08.2010 at 22:50  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2010 at 22:23

Your best review since the one you wrote for Monoliths & Dimensions in my opinion.

Thanks very much, I was having doubts about this one, seemed like it was jumping from point to point etc. But my Sunn O))) review is the one I look to the most I think, so good call and stuff ;]
Troy Killjoy - 29.08.2010 at 22:51  
Actually I think this flows well and focuses most of its attention on the music, much like your Sunn O))) review. Looking forward to your next one!
!J.O.O.E.! - 29.08.2010 at 23:02  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2010 at 22:51

Looking forward to your next one!

Yeah well you canceled that baby so will be a few days/weeks
!J.O.O.E.! - 29.08.2010 at 23:08  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.08.2010 at 22:51

Actually I think this flows well and focuses most of its attention on the music, much like your Sunn O))) review. Looking forward to your next one!

I do have a Yakuza one but that breaches the 3 month rule too ;'(

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