Wednesday, December 17, 2014

this band makes people hysterical: Horrendous (U.S.): Ecdysis (Dark Descent Records)

Horrendous (U.S.): Ecdysis (Dark Descent Records)
Horrendous seems to get a kick out of tripping people’s expectations. Horrendous was known for playing “old school Swedish death metal” when they formed in 2009, with their demo and with the 2012 album. Now in 2014 the band’s new album has busted out with melodic guitar solos all over the place and it’s got people making all sorts of ridiculous statements. I read somewhere that Horrendous sounded like Def Leppard (and Venom, I think they said). If you say it that way people won’t want to hear this band!
In all seriousness, Horrendous still sounds very much like 90s death metal from Sweden. The guitar tone, the riffs, the vocals and the overall spirit are similar to certain sounds from Sweden. It is true that the solos are very melodic, but they work within the context of the songs. Now, of course, it is also true that the album suggests that Horrendous may be getting a bit antsy about remaining within a certain style, and it’s totally possible that in the future Horrendous will sound like a totally different band. There’s a bit of that vibe that seems uncomfortable with this style as a total identity, probably because the band has read that some people dismissed them a retro band from the U.S. trying to sound like a band from Sweden.
However, many other people who have heard this new album are liking it very much and I have even read that it was listed as the top album of 2014 by some publication. I remember which one now, but I don’t think I am making that up. So, the album has been appreciated by lots of people. In summary, Horrendous seems to have made a move towards more melancholic, doomier sounds while still remaining in part death metal. The guitar solos point to melancholic doom, and now I’m sure that we don’t have a clue what will happen next. This band might turn out to be as unpredictable as Sentenced (I know, not Swedish) was from 1990 to 1996, when they finally started to settle down into a predictable style. The next Horrendous album is going to have some people running down street all confused: “What genre is this, please? Tell me! I can’t think for myself! I need to know what genre it is before I declare that I like it!”
The band will just sit back and smile. “We are Horrrendous, and we like your ‘hysteria’.”
HORRENDOUS - The Stranger (2014) Dark Descent Records

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