HORDE - Alive In Oslo
Alive In Oslo
Veridon Music

Twelve years. Twelve long years between when the Horde album Hellig Usvart was released to great acclaim and controversy, and when lone member Anonymous (I think the real guy behind the pseudonym is pretty much known; if you don’t know who it is, I’m not gonna say — do your own research) gathered together a bunch of musicians to play the very rare live set at Nordic Fest 2006. How rare? This was the first time. Ever. So you could probably guess that those in attendance of the show witnessed history in the making.

For those of us who aren’t able to travel halfway around the world to check out rare moments like this, fortunately they very wisely recorded the entire show, and released it on both CD and DVD. As of this writing, I only got the CD version of the show — okay, technically I bought the MP3 download off of eMusic — so I don’t have the visuals to put with the performance, but I’m told that Ja…er, Anonymous wore a black hood to obscure his face. I really need to get the DVD. But for now…

Alive In Oslo is a raw recording. No surprise there; this is harsh old school black metal, so the rawness only enhances the listening experience. The show is pretty much almost a song-for song performance of Hellig Usvart (sans “Drink From The Chalice Of Blood” and “Weak Feeble Dying Antichrist”, for some reason), staying incredibly faithful to the songs for the most part. The performance itself sound great, as harsh and raw as ever. The vocals are different here live than on the album, but then again I would imagine it’s rather tough to maintain that kind of black metal shriek AND perform the drums at the same time. Yep. This guy is totally METAL. More metal than you. More metal than me, in fact. Not by much, though.

All I can say is, sometimes being an American metalhead has its drawbacks. Missing out on this historic show in person is one of them. But, missing out on snagging this live recording of the show would have been a bigger travesty.