August 10, 2016 | , | 4.5

Horrendous, Anareta

Horrendous: Anareta

It’s hard to believe that this is the third full-length from upstarts Horrendous in three years. And each year the trio gets better and better, evolving from a nearly straightforward old school death metal presentation found in their early material. The group’s latest effort, Anareta picks up where their impressive sophomore album (Ecdysis) left off, but with much more progression intertwined amongst their grip on retro death metal.

I believe you’ll find it difficult to find another band (modern or otherwise) that has evolved so quickly in such a short time span. And we’re not talking about a band shifting their sound to catch up with the trend of the day. We’re talking about a band that has shown so much potential and musicianship with each subsequent release in an abbreviated number of years. No other band has remained true to their roots and yet expanded their reach so effortlessly as Horrendous.

For those of you, like myself upon the first couple of listens, that fear for the worst when you hear progression and the like, it’s alright. Trust me. Just spend a few minutes with the opening duo of thrashing “The Nihilist” and the rabid, twisting entanglement of “Ozymandias” — both tracks incorporate progressive melodies with ease. The group has also opened up their sound in their evolutionary process. Where Ecdysis was rollicking and dense, Anareta is more expansive and airy as heard on instrumental, “Sidera,” which smacks of Cynic.

“Polaris” is a dark and brooding beast that meanders and surges at just the right moments while “Acolytes” sees Horrendous explore the depths with a dense and layered presentation. The song is just damn impressive and doesn’t feel anywhere near as long as its seven minute run time. At times furious and bludgeoning while also delving into more atmospheric and melancholic moments to build an epic presentation. Don’t let the acoustic intro to “Sum of All Failures” fool you, this song is not to be messed with — it peaks with some seriously churning, rabid death metal.

Progression (not progressive) is inevitable with most bands as they mature and explore their own capabilities. None have expanded their sound as quickly or as smoothly as Horrendous. Anareta, had I been more timely with my review, would have easily been the number one album of 2015. The band shows no sign of slowing down.