Thursday, October 18, 2012

Class of 2012: Horrendous - The Chills

Horrendous are an old-school death metal band with a bit of a punk influence.  Imagine Lemmy getting together with a death metal band and releasing the results.  The Chills is what it might sound like.  On their debut album, Horrendous gives us 9 songs (8 if we don't count the short instrumental "Sleep Sickness") in just under 42 minutes.

First track "The Womb" features a great introduction - the opening riff is catchy and the bell chimes add a special touch.  As the song progresses, it's clear that it's going to be hard to beat.

There's no question that this is death metal, but certain moments have a slight punk feel to them.  Listen to "The Somber (Desolate Winds)" and "Fleshrot" and you'll hear what I mean.

The band hits its stride at about the halfway point with "Fleshrot" and "The Ritual."  Next track "Fatal Dreams" starts strong but loses steam toward the end. 

My two issues with this album occur when the band tries to be something it's not.  On "The Somber (Desolate Winds)," Horrendous attempts atmosphere and ambiance by ending the song with a minute of blowing wind and feedback.  This ultimately feels simply unnecessary.  So does the instrumental "Sleep Sickness," which also just doesn't fit with the rest of the record.

The album ends, however, with the impressive "The Eye of Madness," whose 9 minutes show us just how great Horrendous can be.  There's even a riff that's reminiscent of the Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown."

It's probably too late now, but Horrendous might want to rethink the band's name.  Fortunately, in this case, Horrendous is not synonymous with horrible.  (Just for the record, I'm aware that horrendous can have a more death metalish meaning, but it's not what I think of when I initially come across the word.)

Grade: B-  (80.4%)

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