Horde is the single-album Christian black metal project of Australian musician Jayson Sherlock, formerly of Mortification and Paramaecium. It was oneof the first black metal bands to profess Christian beliefs. The project was active in 1994, when the only album Hellig Usvart was released on Nuclear Blast, and in 2007, when the 'band' performed a live show in Oslo, Norway. The band also played with the same line up at Immortal Metal Fest in Finland, on April 17, 2010.
Sherlock recorded one album, Hellig Usvart ("Holy Unblack") under the pseudonym "Anonymous" (a possible play on "Euronymous", Mayhem guitarist) and it was released on Nuclear Blast Records in 1994, followed by a later re-release on Rowe Productions. The title "Hellig Usvart" is Norwegian, a fact which led many to believe, while Sherlock was still anonymous, that Horde originated from Norway, a fact backed up by the poor production quality on the album, considered to be a trademark of Norwegian black metal. The term "unblack metal," which is often used to describe Christian black metal musicians, refers to the title of this album.
Upon the initial release of Hellig Usvart, a publicity campaign was launched throughout the black metal community, revolving around Sherlock being credited as "Anonymous". Unsuccessful death-threats were given to Markus Staiger at Nuclear Blast to reveal the identity of the anonymous musician who had created the album, although the identity of the musician was later revealed as Jayson Sherlock. Horde as an entity also received death threats for being a Christian band playing black metal. Upon original release in 1994, 4,000 copies of the album were printed. In 1999 Rowe Productions purchased all remaining copies and distributed them worldwide. The album has since been re-released on this label with an additional track entitled, "My Heart Doth Beseech Thee (O Master)". The album is difficult to come by and sought after by many.
Hellig Usvart pioneered the previously unheard of genre of "Christian black metal" (sometimes referred to as "Holy UnBlack Metal"); since its release, bands such as Dark Endless (also an unblack metal band with one member), Crimson Moonlight and Antestor have emerged as proponents of Christian unblack metal. The album is satirical of the satanic black metal scene in that it twists common black metal phrases into a Christian ideal. The message of the album is generally the destruction and rejection of Satan, in favor of God. There is also direct and indirect praise of God throughout the record. Horde's music is mostly simple, dark and very fast driving unblack metal-style with high pitch shrieking or growling vocals. Some songs such as "Invert the Inverted Cross" utilize double-bass drum work to drive the song. Keyboards are sprinkled in throughout the album as well and appear on such tracks as "Release and Clothe the Virgin Sacrifice".
Horde gave their first live performance at Nordic Fest in Oslo, Norway on 3 November 2006, with Jayson Sherlock as drummer and vocalist and with help from three members of the Christian unblack metal band Drottnar under the stage names Kvest, Bøddel, and Gestalt. The band played its second live show at Immortal Metal Fest, Finland on April 17, 2010, with the same live line up as at Nordic Fest. According to the festival's website, Sherlock agreed to play the show because the festival celebrates its tenth anniversary.