The title of the new album from US death metalers Horrendous perfectly sums up the dark sinister content within. The Chills is a lingering invoking essence of blistering dark menace and pit sourced intent that devours and punctures the senses with venom and malice. Most of all it is a rampaging thrill of commanding riffs, insurgent blistering grooves and spiteful intensity to engage and excite any black heart.
Skewered with striking veins of Swedish and US death metal alongside doom essences the release delivers pretty much what you expect from an old school influenced band but Horrendous fuel it with essential rampant grooves and incisive razor sharp guitars. Formed in 2009 the band’s demo was recorded and sold on CD-R through the band’s Myspace page in the same year leading the band to the attention of Dark Descent Records who co-released the demo Sweet Blasphemies with Skeleton Plague Records the following year. With the initial limited amount of 200 copies sold out within a couple of months they made a second pressing, released early 2011 as acclaim and fans grew in a rapid rate. Anticipation for The Chill again released via Dark Descent Records has risen equally and with the constant assault of uncompromising riffs, pummelling rhythms, and darkly coated melodies all appetites will be surely sated.
Opening track ‘The Womb’ slowly creeps in on a dark ominous trail of guitars and sinister chime like sounds to alert the senses before the track erupts into an onslaught of impetuous galloping riffs and piercing grooves. Spined by a strong deep bassline and ear slicing guitars the guttural spewing of guitarist Damian Herring drip through them with menace and venom from every growled word. Throughout the album the vocals are harsh and at times contrary to the music whilst in others the force thrusting the aural intensity deeper but always they effectively add to the intensity and grab attention.
Each track blisters the ear with intense aggression and caustic energy from the scorching acid of ‘Ripped to Shreds’ through to the ambient heat and malevolent instrumental ‘Sleep Sickness’. The album is solidly varied beneath the aural assault with tracks like the inspired out of control and desperate feeling ‘The Somber (Desolate Winds)’ with its colossal consumption of the senses and the corrosive guitar soaked ‘Fleshrot’ where Herring brings up his bile seeping innards vocally, just two examples of on the surface similar violations brought forth by diverse creativity.
Two songs stand out to make sure the album is an essential visit, ‘Altars’ and closing track ‘The Eye Of Madness’. The first is an unrelenting determined buffeting of riffs and red hot guitars that incite and ignite limbs and senses alike. The latter a wonderfully meandering almost experimental track from the band. A nightmarish bedlam of sounds and screams wrapped in hypnotic bass riffs and rhythms the song disturbs and invites in equal measure showing the band have much more to offer than straight forward old school death metal.
The Chills may not be groundbreaking or an album to inspire new directions within others but it and Horrendous certainly brings a raw freshness to the genre and give nine tracks of aural intense pleasure.