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4.5 out of 5 skulls
March 12, 2012 | ,

Horrendous The Chills

It’s hard to imagine that the slabs of old school death metal thundering from my speakers right now originates from the U.S. east coast. Hurling together influences from Entombed, Dismember, Autopsy and Grave along with a cold atmosphere, Horrendous deliver a debut album that should be considered a classic in years to come. The Chills houses that familiar Swedish death metal sound from the early nineties, along with an unhinged vocal delivery that channels its best Reifert (Autopsy) and pile driving drums sure to leave you a puddle of lumpy goo.

Don’t let the despondent, black metal vibe of the first minute of album opener, “The Womb,” fool you. Sure the air is cold, but this is unbridled old school death metal delivered fast, loose and furiously. Yet, the band still knows how to wrap everything together in a complete and memorable song, not just some buzzed out riffs and blasts thrown haphazardly together. This shit is similar to the punishing death metal I grew up on — Entombed’s Left Hand Path sees some time here as does early Autopsy.

The Chills does more than merely ape the greats of the genre. They morph all of their influences into a seamless flow of catchy and bruising death metal that will leave it’s mark on you. See the unrelenting “Ripped to Shreds” or the band’s strongest song, “The Somber (Desolate Winds)” as proof. But there’s more to this album than just your rehashed old school Swede sound. There’s thundering groove, doom and thrashing death metal in the mix, but again, it’s delivered smoothly and violently. Horrendous jump from style to style (sometimes mid-song) with clean transitions as if all of these elements were supposed to fit together this well — see the nine minute closer, “The Eye of Madness” if you don’t believe me.

The Chills is going to be one of those albums that is surely to land on every year-end list for 2012, if not Decibel Magazine’s Hall of Fame at some point in the future. Horrendous have taken us all by surprise with this on-point first effort for Dark Descent Records.

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