The land was gullied and eroded and barren. The bones of dead creatures sprawled in the washes. Middens of anonymous trash. Farmhouses in the fields scoured of their paint and the clapboards spooned and sprung from the wallstuds. All of it shadowless and without feature.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Horders are a droning ambient project coming from visual artist Give Up. Details are thin, which is perfect because Horders work best in secrecy and in abstracts. Fimbulvetr, the end time, is an appropriate title as the album recalls images of bleak, sun burnt landscapes covered in nuclear fallout.
As for the bands sound it is minimal, forlorn, and constant. Most tracks rely on slow and simple acoustic guitar passages dressed in hazes of noise, samples, distant voices, feedback and hovering electric guitar lines. Some songs are more involved than others, but for the most part they all connect well to each other never breaking the mood. Horders are at their best when they employ this bleak and sparse style. The mixture of organic elements with colder, machine elements works well as they represent an apocalyptic future where technology is a relic. The noise of crickets and cicadas are replaced with harsh streams of white noise and the hushed lull of a river or stream are replaced with static drenched guitars hanging like morning fog.
The only weak points are songs that are more conventional, like "Gallery of Plague" which is a trudging black metal song with a mood breaking guitar solo. Thankfully there are only two, the other being "War Lust."
But back to what's great about Horders. The atmosphere is intense and powerful, at times harrowing, at others dangerously seducing. "Destiny" and "Lantana" have these low, echoing female voices that are intriguing in a most Lovecraftian way; your interest is only superseded by your fear. Points like this make Fimbulvetr such a great listen as it's not all frowns and gloom, but encourages some tangible emotion and instances of humanity which are destroyed by following tracks that are simply ugly.
Maybe it's what Fimbulvetr brings to mind - The Road, Tarkovskiy's Stalker,or even the video game by the same name - that draws me to it, but Fimbulvetr is a viral like release that can alter your state of mind with only a few tracks.
Released by Feast of Tentacles, Give Up has also produced a beautiful and super limited wooden box version of the LP that, while pricey, is simply outstanding. Do your best to procure this and bring it to your fallout shelter and await the inevitable.