Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Horrendous - Ecdysis

Horrendous, man by this point herds of death metal enthusiasts flock to just the name. After the release of their 2009 demo, Sweet Blasphemies, and their 2012 debut full-length, Chills, the band gained a huge following; despite the fact that they're part of the onslaught of revival death metal. Aside from touring and playing some gigs here and there, the United States threesome have since been quiet; until now, as they unveil the second release in their series, Ecdysis. Are the band able to retain the revitalizing creativity that embellished their first album? 

Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
  1. The Stranger
  2. Weeping Relic
  3. Heaven's Deceit
  4. Resonator
  5. The Vermillion
  6. Nepenthe
  7. Monarch
  8. When the Walls Fell
  9. Pavor Nocturnus
  10. Titan
Total Playtime: 43 minutes, 54 seconds




Rating: 10/10





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Horrendous, man by this point herds of death metal enthusiasts flock to just the name. After the release of their 2009 demo, Sweet Blasphemies, and their 2012 debut full-length, Chills, the band gained a huge following; despite the fact that they're part of the onslaught of revival death metal. Aside from touring and playing some gigs here and there, the United States threesome have since been quiet; until now, as they unveil the second release in their series, Ecdysis. Are the band able to retain the revitalizing creativity that embellished their first album?

Horrendous were able to kick off their career promisingly with their debut LP, Chills. Without a doubt, the band have successfully carried over their creative song crafting into their second full-length release, Ecdysis. Each track within the album is unique and memorable in its own right, whether it be a grounding structure or some type of noteworthy vocal segment. With them, the band have brought influences from various other metal sources such as Death, Grave and Hooded Menace, but most importantly Horrendous have managed to not let the influence overpower their material; proving that they are an entity driven by their own unique skill sets and creative minds.

While the material is a mix of doom ridden death metal, it's the compositions that truly make Ecdysis an unforgettable experience; it's certain that even the most learned metalhead will not have heard anything like the arrangements within this content, and casual listeners should be prepared to have their minds melted. The rhythm guitar has a uniquely defined distortion, while the lead comes with a crystallized tone and generally sits like a mist under the rhythm and bass guitars. The bass is thick, yet clear, and stays at a noticeable level throughout the longevity of the album. The vocals are as close to Chuck Schuldiner of Death as one will ever get, which is a feat in itself. While their range isn't strong, the vocals are full of power and passion, and they have the ability to become forlorn, ghostly and ethereal.


Within the cobwebbed tombs that instill a rainy day gloom-and-doom mood are diversified anthems that allow light to seep through the cracks of the material. "When the Walls Fell" is an instrumental track with a throbbing heavy metal beat, where the rhythm guitar and drums work together to create a remarkable structure that is one of the most memorable of the album. "The Vermillion" is another piece of instrumental work, comprised of layered acoustic guitars; docile picking makes up much of the song, while there are some chords added sparingly.

The rest of the tracks are a perfectly brewed blend of death and doom metal. Starting with brief weird yet resilient synths, "The Stranger" kicks things off with a plethora of tempo and structure changes within its seven minute duration, each change conflicts with the previously set speed and style which creates a great clash of elements for the listener. "Weeping Relic" follows up, instantly blasting the audience with deeply growled words and a high octane beginning to counter the morose ending of the initial track. "Heaven's Deceit" is also rightfully worth a mention, due to its fluctuating composure that maintains an incredibly remarkable rhythm.

Ecdysis is in no sense of the word 'normal'; more appropriately it's a bizarre compilation of tracks that become more arcane the further inward that the listener travels. "Nepenthe", "Monarch" and "Titan" are haunted by ethereal, ghostly vocals and eerie, paranormal guitar leads. There's a spotlight given to the bass during these tracks that shows off its ability to back the rhythm guitar changes with an unholy depth. The only downside to the album are the drums, which aren't as diverse as they could be. They plug along in the background with blast beats or hi-hat accents, but they do their job in following suit with rhythm guitar strums.

One of the best and most interesting albums of 2014, Ecdysis is a bizarre experiment in death and doom metal. The vocalist has a remarkable likeness to Evil Chuck from Death, and his passionate voice will keep the listener enthralled throughout the entire album. The instrument compositions possess the ability to morph, though retain memorable structures for each incarnation that they endure. Horrendous have incredible song writing skills as a band, and they have made a monumental impression on the metal community within their short existence. This one is not to be missed, make sure to support Horrendous so they can keep bringing us great content in the future.

Digital Download Provided by: Clawhammer PR

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