It seems that every time I hear a new Dutch band I become more proud of being a Dutchman myself. KATAFALK isn't really a new band though, as their foundation lies in 1995. In the past eight years they have come to two demos, "Through The Storm" from 1997, and "Promo 2001". Later on they signed a deal with Dutch label Cold Blood Industries, on which they can now show their talents through their debut album "Storm Of The Horde".
I must say that I don't always agree with the way that other reviewers describe a CD. I've seen bands like VADER and MARDUK mentioned to describe the style of KATAFALK, but I can't hear much of those bands in their sound. It's obvious that the band plays aggressive Thrash Metal, with short SLAYER-like solos, but also with some clear Black Metal and a few Death Metal influences. I personally find the Black Metal parts to come in the faster passages, and the band that comes to my mind is IMMORTAL, and the "Blizzard Beasts" type of riffs to be exact. What sounds the most like Death Metal is the drums, but not especially the play but more the rather loud production like on so many brutal Death Metal albums. The vocals are rather typical Thrash Metal vocals, although they lie closer to grunts than most other vocals in the genre. Actually, the vocalist on this album, Wokkel, is not longer part of the band and has been replaced by Niels from (Dutch) brutal Death Metal band PROSTITUTE DISFIGUREMENT.
The album has a clear production, but still has the evil and dirty vibe that a heavy recording like this needs. Anyway, KATAFALK truly rages through the thirteen tracks on this album, with the most exceptional tracks being "Succubus", "Birthmark 666", "Rise Now" and crushing closer "Baptized In Fire", as well as the more melodic but nonetheless great song "Empty Life". A slight negative remark would be the chorus on "Redeemer" which has dual vocals that don't really sound that good, but maybe this is also because the riff underneath is too dominating and the whole part of the song sounds a bit empty.
For fans of aggressive Thrash Metal "Storm Of The Horde" is a record that will very well be worth it to check out. But KATAFALK is a band that will appeal to many more Metal fans, so if you're into aggressive Metal then surely check this album out! (Online April 16, 2003)