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I've talked about old-school death metal at least two dozen times on my blog, but even after two-plus years of its resurgence, I'm still interested in the best the style has to offer. Horrendous has birthed debut The Chills. It's the best one since Disma hit us last year.
I've done so many reviews of this genre the formula should be familiar by now. If you're a regular reader or a fan of the style yourself, you should be aware of the various permutations of OSDM. True to their spread-out geography (they hail from all over the east coast), Horrendous have created a blood-slick crossover between the best Floridian death and the best Swedish death, both circa 1991. It's as if they camped out somewhere in the mid-Atlantic on a ship full of zombies for the last two decades, surviving on canned beans and live rats.
The guitar tone is not quite Swedish buzzsaw, but it's partly in that direction. The vocals are a split between Petrov and Schuldiner. The riffs are all ugly blends of Human and Left Hand Path, and they even throw in a synth interlude that could have been on the latter album. Where they diverge from those formulas--besides combining them--is by throwing plenty of ugly leads and solos over the top, embellishing and adding interest. Tempos and riffs are all over the place, but most of it's fast.
I shouldn't really have to go to great lengths trying to describe it. You know the influences, and you have a pretty good idea how this is going to sound. The only surprising thing is that these guys are younger than I am, and there's no metalcore here. In terms of songwriting quality, it's fantastically catchy, and the production is in exactly the putrid, sickeningly sweet spot that OSDM should be. Get this album.
The Verdict: Crank it up, barricade the door, load your shotgun, and get loaded.
originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/