After 2012s simpler, Stockholm death metal based The Chills, this US death metal act emerged from a creative cocoon that was last years Ecdysis, a better, more creative and more challenging band. And only a year later they have returned with Anareta, (a greek astrological term for a ‘destroyer’), and it continues the more progressive, experimental take on a tried and true Swedish hue.

Much like Morbus Chron or Tribulation, Horrendous has taken a classic sound and injected it with a far more creative and unorthodox elements. The guitar tone is still rooted in the mid range buzz, and the vocals are still a Van Drunen-ish howl (with a few blacker rasps here and there), but quite simply, Horrendous’s sound can be described as Stockholm death metal (Entombed/Grave/Dismember) mixed with Rush or to these ears, Switzerland’s’ seminal  Coroner.

This isn’t an immediate album, even less so than Ecdysis, which opened with the amazing “The Stranger”, as Anareta, like its ancient/cosmic themes is more developed, patient and in depth listen. Opener “The Nihilist”, tries to mimic “The Stranger”, but its not until second monster track “Ozymandias” where the album arrives for real. But still, don’t come looking into Anareta for rollicking  d beat rumbles or catchy mid range canters. The songs are convoluted, twisted and swirling, yet patient, and at times surprisingly introspective, with lots of solos and softer palette’s. It is death metal shot through a progressive rock prism, and its different bare elements laid bare, parsed out and crystal clear. Just listen to instrumental “Siderea”.

“Polaris” channels Pestilence through a jittery, spacey, shimmery ambiance, but the album peaks with “Acolytes”,  a more direct death metal song with much more of a classic Stockholm gait and a really nice, restrained close out. “Sum of All Our Failures” starts with delicate acoustics, before a sudden, blistering explosion of death metal, resulting in the album’s most pure death metal track. That all being said, by around track 7, “Stillborn Gods”,  and slow burning closer “The Solipsist (Mirrors Gaze)” my attention is waning a bit, and I start to think the album maybe was a bit rushed, being a mere year on the button after  Ecdysis.

Still, while personally, this isn’t quite as good as Ecdysis, but it’s close, and clearly one of the better albums of the year from a label that seems to poop better albums of the year out effortlessly.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 23rd, 2015


  1. Commented by: xrefused

    This album seemed like a bit of a letdown to me too, but once it got it’s hooks in, I couldn’t stop listening. It reminds me a lot of if Pestilence and Edge of Sanity started a band; also, I am getting huge Rocky George vibes in a lot of those solos. Stillborn gods has to be my favorite song of the year.

  2. Commented by: Luke_22

    Took a while to sink in but this is an incredible follow up to Ecdysis and I reckon it’s possibly even the stronger album of the two. Guitar work, production,, songwriting, it’s all top notch. Album of the year contender

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