Horrendous - Idol review




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Reviewer:
8.8

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Band: Horrendous
Album: Idol
Release date: September 2018


01. Prescience
02. Soothsayer
03. The Idolater
04. Golgothan Tongues
05. Divine Anhedonia
06. Devotion (Blood For Ink)
07. Threnody
08. Obolus


A lot of death metal is either ultra-polished technical wankery or derivative old-school worship. And then there's Horrendous, which is a bit of both but without the downsides.

Horrendous are already on their fourth album and, while their debut is a fairly solid but quite meat-and-potatoes album, their previous two have put them on the map of many death metal enthusiasts. Ecdysis and Anareta both saw Horrendous push further and further into more progressive territories while avoiding the pitfalls of the tech death subgenre and it was quite surprising to see both of them to come in consecutive years. Meanwhile, Idol comes three years later; thus, it's understandable that expectations are immensely high, especially after being signed to Seasons Of Mist. But Horrendous deliver.

If the band's past progression from album to album is to be taken into account, we wouldn't be wrong to guess that Idol would take a deep dive further into progressive and technical songwriting. And indeed they do; songs on Idol are crammed with riffs and intricate arrangements, but never drowned in them. Horrendous never feel like they're over-complicating a song just for the hell of it and listening never becomes exhausting, due to how straightforwardly 40 minutes long the album is. Idol has just as much noodling as it needs to have and it never shies away from just going into a more straightforward and raw sound. Everything feels organic and never too chaotic.

What makes Idol so great is that more than just old-school tech death is oozing from it. The vocals feel especially fit for something closer to black metal and the sound does go into thrashier territories at times, and during "Devotion (Blood For Ink)", clean vocals are heard, surprisingly, and the sound reaches almost post-rock territories. The riffs are obviously a big focus, but not far behind are new bassist Alex Kulick's amazing bass lines, which don't get drowned out; the production is clean enough so that all instruments are clearly audible, but not so much that it feels lifeless.

I could throw loads of compliments like "memorable" and "engaging" at Idol, but I still feel I wouldn't do it enough justice. Horrendous manage constantly to push themselves creatively and write music that knows when to be intricate and when to be straightforward while also not shying away from taking a few steps outside of death metal.

Get a taste.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 24.10.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 111 users
25.10.2018 - 13:51
Enemy of Reality
I think this was a stepdown from Anareta and Ecdysis. I don't think it's memorable or engaging, on the contrary. Barely any riffs to be remembered after a few spins and most of the songs sound derivative. It's not a bad album, but surely not their best either and i won't return to it anytime soon. But again, this band has been hyped to "Opeth's level" where anything that they'll do will be considered for some reason, gold.
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25.10.2018 - 15:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Enemy of Reality on 25.10.2018 at 13:51

I think this was a stepdown from Anareta and Ecdysis. I don't think it's memorable or engaging, on the contrary. Barely any riffs to be remembered after a few spins and most of the songs sound derivative. It's not a bad album, but surely not their best either and i won't return to it anytime soon. But again, this band has been hyped to "Opeth's level" where anything that they'll do will be considered for some reason, gold.

I don't think it's as good as Ecdysis, but I definitely like it more than Anareta. Maybe it's more a matter of taste, but I found plenty of stuff worth coming back to.
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25.10.2018 - 23:26
Batlord666
I really, really want to like this band. The music is fantastic, but I just really dislike the vocals and it makes me sad. Good review, though!
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28.10.2018 - 01:10
BiffMalibu
For me this isn't quite as good as Anareta, but it's still a bit early. I might need to listen to it another dozen times, but it's def a great metal record. The Needle Drop dude gave it a 9, this record will be on a lot of year end top 10s.
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30.10.2018 - 00:46
nikarg
Old Nick
I agree with Batlord666 about the vocals but I love the music and the bass is so fantastic. Great death metal album.
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