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Death metal band Horrid hail from Italy and are living in the wrong millennium. These guys want to live in the first half of the 1990s Sweden, I guess. Swedish death metal. Crunch and melody... That's what is going on on the band's second album 'Rising from the Hidden Spheres'.
Just like many a follower in the genre, Horrid doesn't rise nowhere near to the heights of 'Left Hand Path' (1990), 'Indecent and Obscene' (1993) or 'Ancient God of Evil' (1995). There is crunch, aggression and melody, but something is missing. 'Nothing Lives Forever' starts with an intro including spooky keyboards and zombies stertoring around and progresses into a riff sounding like horror film music (quite close to "Phantasm", one that Entombed loaned, too) and then the bashing starts. Now, the memorable riffing is lost. Next time that there's something for a listener to grab, is the title track's melodic lead part. That is the main problem with this album; the band do not throw much hooks for a listener so interest wanes rapidly, and mainly it is that melancholic lead work that has something to remember, unlike the riffage that tend to go in one ear but immediately come out from the other. 'Harmonic Devastation' jumps out from this bunch like a chick with a dick in men's shower. It's a long progressive song that mixes in some heavy metal, kind of reminding me of some Edge Of Sanity.
If the sound is on the heavy side, it still doesn't convince me. That's because drums sound a bit plastic. Guitars have that authentic bite and crunch that Entombed and the likes presented to the world. The balancing of the instruments suck, as the drums are in the front, or then they just resound in different frequency than anything other here. Deep growled and stertoring vocals are good, and are almost totally real without many effects. On 'Harmonic Devastation' this guy sounds very much like Chris Barnes on newer Six Feet Under platters. There's nothing wrong with the band's performance, it's the songs...
If you miss early 1990s Swedish sound, you probably should check out that era's albums first, because musically Horrid doesn't rise above average level, at least not with this album.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2007)