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Horror of Horror’s debut is a curious little gem hailing from the heydays of 90’s death metal. I can’t say I’m familiar with their later works but I’m glad to know their debut is a mighty fine, palatable offering of old-school sickness. What really caught my eye in the first place was its cover art, which looks like a hilarious Goosebumps cover reject. Normally, I tend to operate under the assumption that most rare old school recordings are unoriginal but solid. Sounds of Eerie is essentially no different from the countless death metal acts of its ilk. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing of course. On the contrary I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Admittedly, the production is not the cleanest around but is immediately effective in its warm, organic texture. The drums are mixed admirably well and the vocals segue along smoothly. Furthermore, the guitars have that low-end crunch typical of most death metal albums. Yes, you’ve probably heard it all before, but why complain when it suits the music just fine?
Secondly, everyone plays their instruments in a very respectable manner. To say that these guys are proficient would merely be an understatement. Drummer Lee Coates gives the album a very percussive hook to it. The over-the-top blast-beats are tempered evenly with more standard thrash-influenced drumming. Even if no flashy, technical flourishes are apparent the performance itself remains varied and interesting enough. Vocally, Buddy Buell is a solid growler. Nothing particularly intimidating but definitely compliments the albums darkened tone. Still, the guitars themselves is where the fun really starts. There are traces of thrash influences to be found but the riffing remains predominately death metal. The tempo remains mostly upbeat with riffs constantly bombarding the listeners from every corner. There are instances where the familiar doom influences creeps in but most of it is just catchy, high-octane death metal action. Again, the riffing never manages to become too flashy for its own good and creating that sinister, harrowing vibe is where Horror of Horrors truly excels.
In the end, Sounds of Eerie simply makes no pretence of being anything else than what it is; a savagely fun and morbid romp in the realm of yesteryear death metal. Really though, it just has a lot of things going for it. The production is chunky and rich, musicianship is commendable and the atmosphere, chilling. If this doesn’t match the criteria of every self-respecting old-school death metal fan out there then I don’t know what does. The whole album keeps itself intact throughout, though if I really had to pick a favorite track then “Old Burnt Church Road” gets my pick. Basically everything that makes Sounds of Eerie such an involving listen is on full force here. Anyway, just hear the entire album for yourself. Dark, fun and consistently listenable Sounds of Eerie comes highly recommended.