Poems of Shadows - Nocturnal Blasphemous Chanting

Hmmm...I can't decide whether this is a Horde cover band, a Horde tribute band, or a Horde rip-off band.  Poems of Shadows hails from Brazil, and to say that they are obsessed with Horde is an understatement.  Nocturnal Blasphemous Chanting is a raw, grim black metal album from start to finish and just about every song has some Horde influences, either musically, lyrically, or both.  Now before you Horde fans get all giddy, Poems of Shadows doesn't really compare talent-wise to Horde.  They are a decent band, yes.  But this album will never gain the cult status that Hellig Usvart has.  For one, Horde was really the first true black metal album put out by a Christian.  Secondly, Horde was one mysterious person who never revealed his identity...and surprisingly, many people still do not know who was behind it.  Poems of Shadows doesn't hide their identities...and that's kinda unfortunate as the corpse-painted band members may gain a few chuckles from those who see their pictures in the CD booklet.  And thirdly, Horde was put out on Nuclear Blast Records amidst death threats on the man behind Horde and even Nuclear Blast themselves.  I could go into more reasons, but this is not a Horde history lesson, but a Horde review Poems of Shadows review.

Musically, this band is not too bad at what they do.  They have the fuzzy, distorted guitars played at a blistering pace.  They have tons of blasting by a pretty good drummer who seems to tire at times, but does a decent job for the most part.  The drum sound is actually good for the genre.  At times it even has the hollow, haunting sound that Horde had.  And the vocalist does a solid job at the blackish vocals.  Sometimes he's in your face, but he also dials in that Horde style that sounds kinda distant and cold.  And really, the production isn't as horrible as some of the Brazilian black metal bands I've heard in the past.

Lyrically is where I REALLY wonder about this band.  They basically rip off most of the lyrics on Hellig Usvart, and even some of the song titles.  Instead of "Silence the Blasphemous Chanting" we have "Nocturnal Blasphemous Chanting".  Instead of "Drink from the Chalice of Blood" we have "Covenant Chalice of Blood".  Instead of "Crush the Bloodied Horns of the Goat" we have "Crushed into Dust...Forever, Eternal" (which is actually the closing line of that Horde song).  Instead of "The Day of Total Armageddon Holocaust" we have "Complete Destruction, Absolute Annihilation" (which is actually two of the last three lines of that Horde song).  And then we have a actual Horde cover song of "Behold, The Rising of the Scarlet Moon".  And that's just the songs titles folks.  The lyrics are sometimes word for word and sometimes just re-worded or with a line added here or there.

I guess if you want to get technical, one thing they did do differently is that they included some multimedia stuff on this disc.  There is a band biography, band pictures, lyrics, and some studio videos to watch.  I actually had to opening the videos out of Windows Explorer cause when I clicked on the multimedia link when it came up, all it kept doing was sending me to Blockbuster Movies' website.  Not sure what was happening there.  Anyways...nothing special on the multimedia extras, but cool that the band tried to include sometime special on the CD.

This band is actually not that bad.  Fans of primitive sounding black metal will probably like this...at least somewhat.  I just think the band should really considering doing their own thing and not just copying somebody else.

Rating: 62/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Independent

Total Songs: 12

Total Time: 48:52

Tracklisting: 1. Put on the Whole Armour, 2. Nocturnal Blasphemous Chanting, 3. Covenant Chalice of Blood, 4. Sacrifice of Triumph, 5. Behold, The Rising of the Scarlet Moon, 6. Steel of Thunder in our Footsteps, 7. Crushed into Dust...Forever, Eternal, 8. Blasphemy Will Never Rise, 9. Complete Destruction, Absolute Annihilation, 10. Darkness Begin to Sing Death, 11. Shadows Embrace the Sorrows of Pain, 12. The Weak Light of a Sad Day.

Best Songs: Tracks 3 and 11.

Band Lineup: Lord Shavout - Vocals/Bass Guitar, Lady Dammaris - Guitar, Argoroth - Drums.

Band Website: http://www.poemsofshadows.cjb.net/