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Hymns of Ghastly Horror - 75%

todesengel89, October 3rd, 2012

Containing veteran Swedish extreme metal musician Rogga, who already boasts a whole host of bands that he has contributed to over his career, Revolting this year releases their fourth full length album in the same number of years, evident of the hardworking nature of the band. Hymns of Ghastly Horror continues the band’s horror-inspired old school death metal.

The Mother of Darkness opens with a rather quirky riff, but shit gets real without much ado, and the heavy influences from Swedish death metal pioneers such as Entombed and Dismember are rather clear, with the cutting, gnarly tone of the guitars that is so characteristic of Swedish old school death metal, and the d-beat attack of drummer Mutated Martin. The punkish feel that the band at times incorporate, especially with the lead guitars that are littered throughout the record are rather reminiscent of such bands as Bombs of Hades and Bastard Priest, as the infectious, raw energy of the band gets the listener headbanging instantly to the music that is contained on the album. Revolting Rogga’s vocals are also stellar, bringing in a tinge of Bloodbath as well with his deep, throaty growls reminding listeners of a fusion between Dan Swano’s and Mikael Akerfeldt’s vocals.

Unfortunately, the band falters slightly on the wailing lead guitars that are constantly present on the tracks, and often times these seem rather unnecessary, such as those on the starting moments of Their Thoughts Can Kill, which ends up being rather irritating instead. Other than that though, Hymns of Ghastly Horror is an extremely fun, catchy and somewhat cheesy old school Swedish death metal release, made all the more enjoyable with the bombastic production that the band has indulged themselves in. Despite being raw, the mix is sufficiently loud for all the instruments to be audible, and the high mix of the bass drums makes things all the more intense especially on the double-bass fuelled moments by Mutated Martin, pounding the listener’s eardrums without mercy. Bassist Grotesque Tobias completes the rhythmic segment and adds in the low-end growls throughout the album as well. Furthermore, the band does not stick purely to the tried-and-tested songwriting methods, with slight variations in the songwriting that could be noticed as the album progresses. For example, Ravenous Alien Spawn is a crushing, intense and somewhat more serious-sounding track compared to the preceding tracks, proving Revolting‘s ability to spawn crushing death metal when needed too.

The band’s embracing of the old school is rather clear throughout, and the songs are often rather straightforward, with the aims of the band to simply bulldoze whoever stands in their way in under the 36 minutes that is contained on the album. The grooves contained within the album has also helped to make the album an extremely fun one to listen to, and one that is probably palatable even to those who aren’t fans of death metal.