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The horrific album art was simply the only reason why I got this album at first but little did I know that Horrendous' album, ''The Chills'' offered so much more. Horrendous plays beautiful, dirty and horrific old school death metal and nothing more. This album is just brilliant in all ways possible, a muffled atmosphere pulling the riffs back so the voracious appetite of the listener is never fully pleased, the brain-penatrating madness of constant assaults of buzzy, groovy Swedeath guitars and an apocalyptical aura of filth and crudely undeveloped and primival, savage onslaghts of pure, intense old school spectacularity. If you like what you've heard by know, then no doubt, you will adore this album within just seconds.
The whole album is covered with heaps of dark and misty nebula as if some sort of magnet rendering the listener hostile to the music. The nostalgia of old-school death is inevitable and it is exremely vivid, too. The riffing is complex and fluctuates between incursions of more technical riffage and rather straightforward, thrash-tinged attacks with plenty of your typical descending tremolo chugs and aggressive riifage. The riffs are sometimes concise and effective yet they always have an appealing technicalty to them as they are not too simplistic. There is plenty of energy which sometimes renders that riff-blocking aura useless and lets the riffs charge with ferocity and rage. The song ''Fleshrot'' is a perfect example to this as it is short and violently vehement. One thing that may separate this album from other old-school albums is the amount of doomy passages, which isn't frequent in this album. Only at seldom, Horrendous decide to slow their tempo down for longer moments, but since sections like this aren't very popular in the album, it's not something you should worry about.
''The Ritual'' which actually starts off with a doomy intro for about two minutesi immedeatly settles on a more aggressive approach and starts to mangle bodies and split skulls like a machine. Another great thing about the album is that it tends to have alot variation. While some songs can be unbarably brutal and demolishing some other may retain energy and increase the level of dynamics while still being able to sound powerful. Some sections obviously carry a alot more atmosphere than others, so it makes the album sound rather epic and bursting with feeling at melody. The album manifests many styles and although it follows slightly different directions, the riffs are mainly based on the same pattern, executed flawlessly and never repetetive. The vocals are outstanding and sound just as old school as the rest of the band. They would be crossover of Chuck Shuldiner and Van Drunnen yet at times, they might turn slightly more raspy and cracked. The vocalists' violent and croaky screams shadow over slower parts of the album to emphasize the blood-curdling feeling of the album. Just as many new death metal albums, solos on this album are very rare, but with such a strong and consistent rythm department, it doesen't even matter.
From the crushing intro of ''The Womb'' to the miracolously melodramatic ending of ''The Eye Of Madness'', ''The Chills'' is a wonderfully crafted record that opiates the old school sound very well. Out of many, this album stands out to the most crushing, melody-laden and relentlessly variated one. Channeling between Incantation and early Death in many ways, Horrendous' debut album have managed to do and exceedingly well-done album to start off the year, thus bringing us hope that 2012 will have many more fine releases.