Burial Hordes - Devotion to Unholy Creed (Pulverised / AmpHead)

Devotion to Unholy Creed, the second album from Hellenic anti-religious black metal band, Burial Hordes, sounds like the rageful screams of tortured souls. Brutal and fucking black, this is an album that gives the impression it could have been conceived in the depths of hell.

When I received this CD I threw it on my stereo, with the volume cranked, and only a glance at the album cover. My first impression was brutality – and thought the creatures creating this noise were called 'Brutal Hordes’.  On closer inspection I can see the band name is actually Burial Hordes and the album title is Devotion to Unholy Creed.  Having now heard this album through several times, I stand by my first impression: it is brutal, fast, dark, black metal.

Devotion to Unholy Creed is raw, violent energy.  Vocalist Cthonos screams a primal growl with all the rage of a vengeful undead.  The strings of N.E.C.R.O.S. and Psychaos (both guitarists play six-strings and bass) are down-tuned, low and bass-heavy.  Impaler on the drums sets the atmosphere with harsh, poundingly deep percussion.  The result sounds hellish.

From the names of the musicians and names of the songs (Praise the Bloodcore of Hatred and Infernal Necromancers a couple of examples) to the extra touches like the disturbing soundscape that completes the title track – lunatic, tortured noises against a choral setting; the ominous chanting at the end of God’s Cutthroat, leading dramatically into the screaming shock of Abysmal Goatfest; to the slow, creepy interlude in the final track, Stench of Immortal Doom; this album never deviates from its concept of black, anti-christian evilness.

Their logo describes them as Hellenic anti-religious black metal and while the term Hellenic refers to their Greek origin, in its correct use, it is also an apt play on words for a band that depicts themselves as born of Hell.  Their music stays true to this concept, delivering a necrogenous, unholy collection of brutality.  Fortunately this does not become comic as is too often the case with black metal bands that take this conceptualisation over the top.  I am no expert in black metal so cannot provide much of a technical opinion or say if this contributes anything unique to the genre, however as a concept album of unholiness, this is a solid and powerful depiction. It is truly Hell unleashed in musical form.

Burial Hordes' Devotion to Unholy Creed is out now on Pulverised/AmpHead.