Alastor - The Unholy Hordes
Title: The Unholy Hordes
Genre: Black-Thrash Metal
Label: Firecum Records
Release Date: 7th June 2020
2. Massacre Profano
3. Morte Da Trindade
4. Ritos De Invocação
5. Forças Do Inferno
6. Ascenção Da Besta
7. Que Se Abram Os Portais
8. Com Mil Demónios
9. Deuses Antigos
11. Palavras Finais
Alastor, skilled band of the Portuguese music scene, was born in 1988 with a very primitive Black/Thrash Metal that although with a lot of enthusiasm went nowhere. In 1995 JA decided to record some of the old songs on his own, but that demo ("Possessed By Darkness") was only released in 2007. In 1996, with little success with Decayed, JA decided to bring the band back. With the help of JM from DECAYED, some old songs were tried out with new ones. The final result would be "Gates Of Darknessî", an album that nobody seemed interested in releasing at the time, only two years later part of those recordings were released on a split CD with Decayed. The debut album, "Crushing Christendom", was released in 2000, followed by "Hellward" in the following year and "Infernal Lord" in 2004.
With a lineup change, "Infernal Lord" was released in 2004. In 2011, "From The Hellish Abyss" was released in 2013 to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary. To celebrate 30 years of Unmerciful Thrashing Rage, a new album, "The Dark Tower", was released in January 2018. 2020 was the year that Lex Thunder (Toxikull and ex-Midnight Priest) joined the band on vocals with his powerful voice, the new album "The Unholy Hordes" was released for Firecum. It's just the new entry Lex Thunder on vocals who brings with him a burst of energy that fits well with the sound of Alastor. A good dark black thrash metal album sung in Portuguese as always, or rather, as is the band's tradition, titles in English but content in the mother tongue. "The Unholy Hordes" is a harmonious fusion of thrash with more classic heavy metal in which the raw thrasher vein are good and the feel of this album is very old school in terms of production, that makes the whole thing more unpolished and truthful.
Venom as well as Angelwitch remain perhaps the biggest influences for Alastor but like all influences, they create personal atmospheres and individual musical visions.
The guitar solos are good and so is the rhythm line but it is the vocals that drive the whole work in both the heavy and softer tracks, pieces as "Massacre profano""May the gates be opened" and "Rise of the Beast" are quite good but 'The Unholy Hordes' is an album that should be listened to in its entirety and not dismembered piece by piece because if you indulge in the really thrasher bits, you indulge just as much in the soft ones because Alastor offer a good dose of authenticity by reshaping themselves in various musical phases and phrasings.
"Com Mil Demonios" is worth keeping in mind because in its raw thrash execution, it contains an Iron Maiden guitar style.
The darkened atmosphere fits in perfectly in the whole album and with this raw approach, Alastor hits the target with old school style and sensible consciousness of their own history.
"The Unholy Hordes" deserves more than a listen.