Horrendous – The Chills (Dark Descent Records)Sunday, 24th March 2013
Fundamentally speaking, Horrendous belong in the early 90’s. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon (yeah, that’s right) to figure out that the band is all-in with Stockholm and entry-level American death metal. The style’s resurgence of late has diminished its output, yet the manner in which Horrendous operate does have a level of authenticity to it. Maybe it’s because they’re a three-piece. Or they look like Incantation circa 1991. Or that this scribe gets “the chills” when thinking about the Baltimore Ravens possibly going to the Super Bowl. It’s a toss-up.
Down to business, The Chills is the band’s second album and it benefits greatly from a sledgehammer production job. Like, drummer Jamie Knox’s snare hits like a ten-ton hammer (not like Machine Head’s, of course) and it provides some totally propulsive moments, like on the thundering “Fleshrot,” a song that is the near-perfect hybrid of early Autopsy and Scream Bloody Gore-era Death. Also let’s not forget Knox’s quick intro on “Fatal Dreams” and solo run during “The Eye of Madness” which goes to show that death metal bands would be advised to let their drummers loose more often.
Beyond that, Horrendous relies on a lot of brutal/simple death metal’s linchpins, including singer/bassist Matt Knox and his Petrov/Reifert vocal hybrid (see: “Ripped to Shreds”). The crunchy riffing unfurled on “Altars” makes one think ofLeprosy, while “The Somber (Desolate Winds”) plunges downhill in the same manner Dismember did on their Like An Everflowing Stream debut. Obviously, the band is clearly the sum of their influences (who isn’t?), but at least they aren’t trying to disguise it.
About as well-suited as any retro death metal album in these times, The Chillssees Horrendous do virtually everything a band of this style should. There’s not a scant trace of originality here, but band’s faithful homage to a bygone, but largely recurring style of death metal is commendable, if not 100% recommended.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)