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CD Review: HORRENDOUS – The Chills

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I love the “Sunlight Sound” as much as the next guy, but it’s been abused of late, invoked in hybrid procedures and put to nefarious use. In the end it’s a sonic tool; its glorious overdistorted virtues will only shine in the light of righteous riffs and songwriting. Horrendous have got those in spades. The band have dug up the roots of death metal and fertilized them with fresh carnage, raging with a charismatic flair and and an intuition for devious dynamics. The Chills, indeed.

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The Chills is an expertly composed, rotting ball of death. The album is baked in the same mold as early Dismember and Asphyx, but it's spiced with a sinister melodicism that also speaks of The Somberlain. Horrendous grasp the importance of groove to those epitomes of Swedish death; The Chills swings and swaggers with ball-crushing authority. These tunes are also relentlessly dynamic; you won't experience a dull moment in their clutches.

Red hot, detuned heavings intermingle with exquisite, phantasmal leads. The dueling guitars make compelling contrapuntal arguments, spewing a constant stream of superior riffage. The distortion is fucking succulent, abrading the brain with its grizzled edge. The Chills is tied together by fantastic drumming and gorgeously audible bass; ridiculous musicianship abounds.

The vocals are incredibly entertaining, channeling the psychotic spirit of Martin van Drunen. Tales of butchery, apocalypse, unholy ritual and requisite gore are all conveyed with tortured glee. I dare you not to scream along to “Ripped to Shreds.”

Horrendous don't sound like they've set out on a mission of atavistic mockery; they sound like they were born to do this, to fling this unerring filth. The Chills is a preposterously flawless debut album. The old school just got schooled. Bang your head if you agree.

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9.0/10

The Chills is out on January 2nd via Dark Descent Records.  Check out the first track below:

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