Album Review: Horrendous – “Anareta”

horrendous anareta
Cover art by Brian Smith. (Although seems inspired by Zdzisław Beksiński)

Death metal has been made and produced all across the globe. As a genre, death metal has become distinct carving out it’s own niche within the world of extreme metal. Some countries even create such a distinct sound that the country itself becomes a genre. But along come Horrendous who take Death Metal to places that it never dreamed of going. Horrendous have, on their newest LP Anareta, created a slightly more accessible, smoother take on their experimental death metal. With their musical talent taking the lead they craft songs that become another appendage—a part that the listener will never lose.

Horrendous so subtly and effortlessly blend their experimentation and astounding musicianship into their songs that it’s almost invisible at first. But slowly, after each listen, the beauty of their subtle touch creeps towards the front. The guitar work becomes more than arpeggios. The solos become more than just filler. The drums become more than just a backbeat. Then there’s the bass. The bass becomes more than everything. It leaps towards the front of the recording and declares itself as the not so typical leader of the song flow.

The bass tone is something entirely unheard of in metal to date. Not only is it clean, but it’s downright jazzy. Somehow, whether it’s Damian Herring or Matt Knox, through a boost in the mid-range sound, and timely finger placement, they achieve a near Jaco Pastorius bass quality—almost sounding as if the electric bass they are playing is fretless. If you’re interested, we had the chance to interview Horrendous and they chatted about  the bass sound here.

Horrendous are, in a way, a more palatable take on The Dillinger Escape Plan. Rather than attacking and insulting their listeners, Horrendous pay homage to the music. The songs created by the trio are beautiful, sweeping takes on a vast array of subjects and styles. No matter what embellishments a track takes on, Horrendous is an unmistakable band. They are so distinctive that, in a game of “Name That Tune” it would be easy to guess a horrendous song in roughly two seconds of play time. With so much talent and so much originality and successful experimentation expect Horrendous to be a leader in the death metal genre for as long as they see fit to hold the crown.

Anareta is simply a masterpiece. More complex rhythmically than Ecdysis yet somehow infinitely more accessible. The job of a music writer is to assist in scaling down the near impossible sea of music to highlight what is worth the time. An additional job would be to assist in expanding horizons. Horrendous have provided the ultimate gift to music writers: an album that will certainly be an end of the year candidate yet, at the same time, is accessible enough to help the standard metal fan expand their musical thinking.

– Manny-O-War

Anareta is available 10.30.2015 on Dark Descent Records. For more information on Horrendous head over to their Facebook Page.

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