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(Dark Descent Records)

HORRENDOUS… HORRENDOUS… my dear HORRENDOUS…, I can’t get you out of my head, like a childhood lover who has a crush with the high school teacher. She looks so mature, so confident and so intelligent that you want to grow old right away, marry her and love her to death… what a weird yet necessary word for this review… death…, as in Death Metal. Actually you can change the teacher reference in my stupid love story and put the name HORRENDOUS instead and it will fit perfectly to my feelings with the band today. My first exposure to HORRENDOUS was through their first demo “Sweet Blasphemies” released by the band back in 2009 and then (officially) re-released by Dark Descent in 2010. When I ordered this tape release via Dark Descent (plus some other stuff) I wasn’t sure what this band was playing and just bought it as Dark Descent was putting out some great releases and most of the stuff I bought from their catalogue was a blind shot with great results. When I first heard the demo I was blown away by the fact that this band was not the average old school / new school Death Metal band, they added some great melodies and feeling to the songs that most bands have lost or don’t even care this days. Of course as soon as the debut album “The Chills” was released I bought a copy the very day it was out and what a great album it was (is), not a single filler just killer tunes with a sense of Swedish / USA classic Death Metal mixed with melodic Death Metal riffing and great vocals. So what can they do to top a great debut album? The answer is an easy 1 word (yet difficult to pronounce): “Ecdysis”. Let’s have a quick cultural reference, "Ecdysis" means: the act of molting or shedding an outer cuticular layer, and comes from the Greek word Ekdyein. So in a nutshell for basic English understanding, "Ecdysis" means: releasing / removing / liberating / changing the outer layer of the skin. So what does this word have to do with the new outstanding HORRENDOUS album? Well it means everything… “Ecdysis” is not only the title of the latest sophomore record of this magnificent band, but it’s also the result of evolution, hard work and do what they want with their music, removing all tags and comparisons to other bands. This time Damian Herring + the Knox guys (Matt and Jamie) took the Death Metal to the next level, the harmonies, composition, musicianship, melodies, skilled songwriting are all there. This is a fresh album, with some great melodic passages incorporated into basic old school Death Metal, but it also includes some Doom sense to it, breaking all molded ideas of the genre. The guitar sound incorporates the common heard HM-2 distortion mixed with some slight reverb, echo and delay, the drums and bass sound very natural, almost untouched, like it was played and recorded in a live session instead of takes, the solos outshine in this record, unbelievable solos, not only shredding solos, but melancholic solos that made me think of old school Rock solos (think LED ZEPPELIN, RUSH, KING CRIMSON), all the instruments sound right on the spot, you can hear them all nice and clear. The vocals sound like a young Martin van Drunen, raspy yet understandable. The cover of the album is almost like a picture (no logo, no title) and brings some odd ideas of what this record is all about, but after listening to the album over and over again the cover makes more sense than even other records of the genre, so as you can see, I can’t praise this album enough. I wouldn’t say this album is 100% perfect, but it’s 90% there, and with every spin it grows more and more in me. I’m very surprised with what HORRENDOUS have achieved with this milestone, and I’m very looking forward to what the next step will take them too, in the meantime listen to “Ecdysis”, enjoy it, embrace it, but pay attention to the details, use a good pair of headphones and listen to it, the layers are there for a reason, maybe HORRENDOUS changed their outer layer but their inner guts are still rancid and putrid, if you don’t have this album yet, you are truly missing something very special, so go buy “Ecdysis” right now, pay a visit to,

Mauricio “Rusty” Sanchez

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