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Horrendous return three years after the release of a very promising demo. I was really hopeful about their musical development and I have to say that this first full-length work really shows strides of progress in all terms: songwriting, lyrics and vocals. For those unfamiliar with the name, Horrendous play death metal the old school way, but despite the fact that they come from the USA, the Swedish death metal influences in their music are obvious as well.
The guitar work is the best I’ve heard in a really long time. Compositions are great and the riff sequence is ideal. There is a rare balance between the two guitars that flow so naturally from straightforward thrashy riffs to skull-crushing groovy ones, and when the pace suddenly changes, those dark and grandiose melodies really drain my energy and make me feel the grasp of the cold hand of death. I even found the solos to be very interesting even whilst I was never a big fan of them. Of course, this top-notch result wouldn’t even exist without the valuable contribution of the drums and their diverse playing, though I have to admit that I was mostly impressed by the use of the bass drum.
Production is extra fine and, to be honest, this was expected and foreshadowed already from the production of their demo release that stood at the same standards. Sound is massive and solidified by the really dynamic presence of a loud and clear bass tone. As for the lyrics, they refer to relatively common themes as death and anti-Christianity, but at the same time they are very descriptive. As a result, they managed to create images in my head and sink me even deeper into the decay and the agony of this release.
From all the things said above it can be easily understood that “The Chills” has a really special atmosphere, enhanced even more by its mysterious and monstrous cover.
Horrendous manage to combine all the great elements of the monumental old school death metal sound and create something absolutely terrific. In times when many bands are only copying the glorious past, these guys manage to revive it. They are the living proof that as long as authenticity and inspiration prevails, there is still hope. Go grab this album as fast as you can. It will certainly give you the chills.
Originally written for: The Lair of Storfeth