So, last I checked, Horrendous was a fantastic death metal band with a style based in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean circa 1992. I had read about their last album and how far they progressed, but I never got around to checking it out. I should have, because this Anareta sounds like a completely different band.
The vocals are a blend of Chuck Schuldiner and Martin Van Drunen, which is to say, they’re awesome. But that’s where the predictability ends. Horrendous is now a progressive death metal band with a style all their own. Sure, there are Opethian solos (“Ozymandias”) and melodies (“Siderea”). They might occasionally sound a little like Cynic circa Traced in Air (“Siderea”), or later Death (“Polaris”). But they’re much more than that.
What they’ve accomplished here is death metal with a rich emotional range. The most basic parts of their songwriting are more Dawnbringer than Entombed or Morbid Angel (“Stillborn Gods”). They take those basic pieces and spice them up with technicality and progressive song structures. Some of the leads are superfluous (“Acolytes”), tending toward the ideal of technicality over musicality, but even then you couldn’t possibly accuse them of failing to write proper songs.
Horrendous is shaping up to be one of the best bands in death metal. Get on this.
The Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The album comes out October 30.
Dark Descent Records