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Summon The Hordes
High Roller Records

Considering how significant Golem was to the Teutonic thrash scene, it seems strange that Protector never made it to the same legendary status as Sodom or Kreator, two better-known bands that for all their extreme aggression were not able to keep up with the near-death-metal ferocity of the Wolfsburgers. Kept on life support first by their drummer, and then by vocalist Martin Missy via his Protector cover band, it was revived in Sweden in the last decade and has turned out a succession of solid albums. Summon the Hordes is the latest in this line, and proves that the band hasn't exactly mellowed with age.

The chosen riffing style here is a crunchy, abbreviated gallop, speeding up to harsh but disciplined blastbeats. In fact, everything about the Protector sound has a sharp, clean attack, including the production, an excellent one that gives equal weight to all the instruments. The Celtic Hammer, a tribute to Celtic Frost, has the steady, swinging beat of doom metal, while Stillwell Avenue and the title track have more of the chaotic speed that the band is known for. There is little soloing here; high-speed rhythm riffing is what the band produces best, and that's what the listener gets.

Missy's voice remains as ghastly as ever, a hoarse rasp that comes right from the base of the throat; just don't expect much range from it. Michael Carlsson's guitars are the perfect complement to it, providing a rough foundation for his higher range to stand upon. The often-humorous subject matter (in addition to the shoutouts to other bands and to their fans, there's a song about a hippo and a cavity search) is indistinguishable without reading the lyrics, but it certainly provides a counterpoint to the deadly-serious sound.

Summon the Hordes continues modern Protector's recent history of producing not groundbreaking but solid albums. Don't expect anything new, but it's a good one to listen to.

Andy quoted 79 / 100

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Summon The Hordes
High Roller Records
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