Horrified – Of Despair (Review)

HorrifiedThis is the second album from UK Death Metal band Horrified.

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.

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The Grotesquery – Curse of the Skinless Bride (Review)

The GrotesqueryThis is the third album by this Death Metal supergroup, featuring members and ex-members of Massacre, Death, Edge of Sanity, Mantas, Bone Gnawer, Paganizer, Ribspreader, Liklukt and This Haven.

First off, I want to acknowledge the album title – now that’s a Metal album title. Top work!

But anyway…onto the music. Here we have some Old-School Death Metal with plenty of groove and mid-paced heaviness. This is 90’s-style Death Metal from an era when songs still mattered and each track was thought of in a holistic manner.

As such, the songwriting here befits the music and the Metal flows nicely from track to track. Or interlude, as the case may be. This is a Horror-themed release so there are numerous interludes to progress the story.

The guitar riffs are appropriate to the style, of course, but the melodies and riffs chosen also seem to further the atmosphere as espoused by the narrative. The result is not just a trip down Death Metal memory lane but an immersive experience into the realms of Horror Metal.

Good sound, good Metal. Here’s to The Grotesquery.