We last met Horrified in 2017 with Allure of the Fallen, which was the band’s crowning achievement after the pleasing progression between the old-school nastiness of Descent into Putridity and the shinier, slicker Of Despair. Continue reading
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.
With vocals that sound like they belong to an unhinged psychopathic murderer, this is rotten Old-School Death Metal with a Swedish influence and a fair few chainsaws stashed away with the bodies.
It’s a shambling, stumbling corpse of an album but not without its charms. Fans of polished, ultra-technical, modern Death Metal can look away now; this is atavistic, grotesque Death Metal from the bowels of history played with passion and a will to kill.
The songs are straightforward, ugly tracks that hack and slash their way through the crowds with maniacal glee.
This is not an album without flaws; indeed, if the band can tighten up their performance a bit then their next release will be even better. However, focusing on this too much is not the point. Horrified is about the base, underground rawness of Death Metal and although I do believe that they would benefit from a tighter delivery Descent into Putridity is not ruined by the lack of this.
The very rawness and underground brutality of this maggot-filled album is its own reward. Yes, I’m a sucker for Swedish-influenced Death Metal at the best of times, but I still like this.
Horrified have arrived. Let’s support them and let’s listen loud.