Horrified’s début album Descent into Putridity was a maggot-filled coffin full of raw, underground Swedish-influenced Death Metal. Things have changed since then, it seems.
A Swedish Death Metal influence is still apparent, but the band have expanded their horizons and taken in further influence from the more melodic side of the Swedish scene; think bands like Dissection, Edge of Sanity and Eucharist. It’s an interesting and unexpected change of direction for Horrified that allows them to develop their more expansive, progressive and melodic sides, while still including some nice brutality when they want.
As this development sees the band becoming more sophisticated and melodic, there’s a corresponding increase in length in the songs, with a couple breaching the eight minute mark. This allows the band to add the melodic, emotive side to the core of their old-school style, achieving a blistering combination of the two that works really well.
Although I miss the primitive old-school rumble of their début, I must admit that it’s very nice to see a band develop and spread their wings further afield than their early influences. As these influences do still play a part in their sound though, it’s not a total departure. The end result is that they have progressed into an entity that’s far more interesting and accomplished than what they have demonstrated in the past, and Of Despair is a very enjoyable and compelling piece of work.